Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources tagged its first-known pregnant tiger shark in the St. Helena Sound this week.
"Harry-Etta,” a 12-foot-2-inch 820-pound female tiger shark, was tagged with a with a Smart Position or Temperature tag. SPOT tags are attached to a shark’s dorsal fin and track its movement above water. The tags may help researchers answer questions about sharks’ life span, reproduction and migration.
She was previously tagged in 2013 and 2015 with a conventional tag.
“We also confirmed she was pregnant by ultrasound, so we can gain insight into what habitats she uses during gestation,” said Bryan Frazier, a SCDNR biologist.
Researchers believe South Carolina’s southern sounds may be important foraging and nursing grounds for tiger sharks.
Harry-Etta is the 15th tiger shark tagged by Frazier’s team in South Carolina. SCDNR biologists have collaborated with nonprofit OCEARCH, charter captain Chip Michalove and College of Charleston to conduct research.