What is it about?

Between July 23 and August 2 in 2002, all blackfin reef sharks and possibly other shark species, left the north shore of the island of Mo’orea, French Polynesia. They left their ranges inside and outside the lagoons and even the small pups abandoned their shallow water refuges of thick coral. Their community was in severe disruption days before they left, and when they returned, most of them arrived at the same time, travelling swiftly in a spread out formation. No reason for their evacuation could be found in spite of much investigation.

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Why is it important?

This paper describes a phenomenon that has yet to be explained. It therefore might shed light on facets of shark behaviour that have so far not been studied.


Since this paper describes an unexplained, action by several communities of sharks in concert, it highlights how little we really know about them.

Ila France Porcher
Independent researcher

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Shark evacuation from Mo’orea island in 2002, Behaviour, February 2023, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/1568539x-bja10198.
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