Kaneohe Bay, Oahu Hawaii is well known nursery
ground for the scalloped hammerhead shark.
Adults come into the bay to give to their young
in the spring and early summer. Pups use the bay
as a protective nursery until they are large
enough to enter the pelagic environment. It has
been estimated that up to 10,000 pups can be
born in this bay over the summer.
Little is known about the impact that this shark
population has on Kaneohe Bay. One way to
measure this impact is by quantifying the
energetic demands of this predator.
Respirometry techniques were used to quantify
the metabolic rate of the shark pups over a
range swimming speeds.
Information on energy consumption on sharks in
the laboratory was used to determine the
energetic requirements of free swimming sharks
in the bay. Hammerhead sharks are known as
obligate ram ventilators and must continuously
swim in order to breathe. We developed a custom
acoustic transmitter that functions like a
This device produces an acoustic pulse every
time the shark tail wags.
Similar techniques will be used for other
species such as whitetip reef shark.