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Importance of Research

Dr. Gisele Montano, a reproductive physiologist and veterinarian at SeaWorld, recently participated in a collaborative effort with global nonprofit OCEARCH for the purpose of studying shark reproductive habits. While on the expedition off of the Atlantic coast, Dr. Montano and the OCEARCH team took samples from over 20 different sharks to help in their study of shark behaviors and wellbeing. Dr. Montano said that she was grateful to be able to participate in the project and that she thinks that “the collaboration is very important because we can come here — not just me- but the other veterinarians at the park — to have access to species that we don’t have access to when we work in our parks.” She also stated the importance of preserving the natural habitats of these animals so that future generations are able to witness the same wonders of nature that we see today.

Studying the Sharks’ Mating Grounds

One of Dr. Montano’s questions she is hoping her research will answer is whether or not the waters off the coast of the Carolina’s are white shark mating grounds. Previous research has shown that both male and female white sharks typically spend the winters off the Carolina’s coasts where the water temperature and currents provide them with plenty of food opportunities. More research is needed to determine whether or not this area is indeed a primary mating ground for these sharks.

Partnership Between SeaWorld and OCEARCH

For the past 5 years, SeaWorld and OCEARCH have been partnering in this mission to research and protect marine life. Both organizations share the goals of educating the public about marine life, research, conservation, and rehabilitation. Their past collaborative research has provided important insights into marine life and future research will continue that journey.

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