Sustainable Fishing, Marine Biology & Conservation

Background Pages

Age Growth Study

Most of the sharks we tag are also injected with oxytetracycline (OTC) which is an antibiotic used in veterinary medicine. We inject the sharks with OTC not for the antibiotic qualities but for the side affect that it stains on the shark’s vertebrae. If an injected shark is ever recaptured and biologists are able to examine the vertebrae (under a microscope) they can measure how much it grew from the time we originally stained it. This will provide them with information that might some day allow them to accurately determine the age of a shark simply by measuring the vertebrae.