Renewed occurrence of schooling scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) and of great hammerhead (S. mokarran) sharks in the Cayman Islands

Mauvis Gore*, Johanna Kohler, Rupert Ormond, Austin Gallagher, Teresa Fernandes, Timothy Austin, Christy Pattengill-Semmens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), a critically endangered species with a decreasing global population, is characterised by its occurrence in large schools. Such schools are still observed today in the Pacific Ocean, but this is generally not the case in the Atlantic Ocean, and in the Cayman Islands not since the 1970s. Here we report a recent record of a school of S. lewini in deep water off Grand Cayman, and describe a recent, concomitant increase in numbers of the species, and its critically endangered congener, the great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), around the Cayman Islands. Relative population trends and seasonal patterns were assessed using data from shallow and deep-water BRUVS, scientific longlining, citizen science projects including the Sharklogger Network and REEF, and social media reports. It appears that S. lewini may be slowly re-occupying the area, selecting and using deeper waters to school, while S. mokarran has also become less scarce than hitherto.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1347285
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • BRUVS
  • Caribbean
  • citizen science
  • deep sea
  • hammerhead sharks
  • schooling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Ocean Engineering

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Renewed occurrence of schooling scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) and of great hammerhead (S. mokarran) sharks in the Cayman Islands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this