Novel CTD tag establishes shark fins as ocean observing platforms

Animal-borne tags are effective instruments for collecting ocean data and can be used to fill spatial gaps in the observing network. We deployed the first conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) satellite tags on the dorsal fin of salmon sharks (Lamna ditropis) to demonstrate the potential of sharks to monitor essential ocean variables and oceanographic features in the Gulf of Alaska. Over 1360 km and 36 days in the summer of 2015, the salmon shark collected 56 geolocated, temperature-salinity profiles. The shark swam through a plume of anomalously salty water that originated from the “Blob” and encountered several mesoscale eddies, whose subsurface properties were altered by the marine heatwave. We demonstrate that salmon sharks have the potential to serve as submesoscale-resolving oceanographic platforms and substantially increase the spatial coverage of observations in the Gulf of Alaska.
This article was originally published in Scientific Reports. The version of record is available at: © The Author(s) 2024. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
animal migration, biooceanography, marine biology, physical oceanography
Pagniello, C.M.L.S., Castleton, M.R., Carlisle, A.B. et al. Novel CTD tag establishes shark fins as ocean observing platforms. Sci Rep 14, 13837 (2024).