A hammerhead shark nursery discovered in the Galapagos Islands
For several million years, in the Galapagos archipelago, baby hammerhead sharks are raised in a nursery protected by reefs and mangroves. Their hiding place was found in November 2017 by biologists. It is located in the Galapagos archipelago, the second largest marine reserve in the world, 1,000 km west of South America. “It was quite by chance that we found this natural nursery for baby hammerheads, a species that is under a high level of threat,” Eduardo Espinoza, a Galapagos National Park biologist who monitors ecosystems, told AFP.
It was during an expedition, whose goal was to tag sharks with electronic tracking chips to track their movements, that the biologist Eduardo Espinoza and his team met dozens of small sharks that moved safely in the middle of fish, in search of their food. It is in this hyper secure environment that females give birth and leave immediately. Infants, protected from predators by the reefs who forbid access to them, have no problem to feed themselves to grow. After two years, when they are strong enough and in need for more food, they leave the nursery and go out at sea.
To preserve this species of sharks, Ecuador created in 2016, in the north of the Galapagos archipelago, between the Darwin and Wolf Islands, a sanctuary in which fishing is completely prohibited.