Shark genetics is the answer to nature’s mysterious predators

Genetic Research: DNA Sampling Program

Genetic techniques are a relatively new way to study great white sharks and are very cost effective. In 2000, a joint Australian/South African programme was started to compare DNA of sharks between the continents, with the aim of establishing whether the same sharks migrate between the two. The Department of Environmental Affairs: Branch – Oceans and Coasts, Republic of South Africa travels out to sea once a month to conduct this DNA sampling.

In 2011, Andreotti started her PhD project at Stellenbosch University of South Africa in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Affairs to identify individual great white sharks using a genetic approach combined with dorsal fin photo identification.

If successful the results of the DNA testing will support the work done via photo identification, and reveal if the sharks in South Africa form one isolated same genetic pool or if they are linked with other populations overseas. (More info coming soon…)