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388hero|New Zealand scientists tagging sharks to monitor climate change

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WELLINGTON, June 20 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand scientists are studying sharks in the southernmost part of the country to understand effects of climate change388hero.

Sharks are an apex predator with a crucial role in the ecosystem and can be indicators of the health of an environment, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) fisheries scientist Brit Finucci said on Thursday.

The team from NIWA and the Victoria University of Wellington spent a week in Fiordland, New Zealand's South Island, attaching transmitters to broadnose sevengill sharks to track their behavior and movements.

388hero|New Zealand scientists tagging sharks to monitor climate change

The project, funded by the Save Our Seas Foundation, saw 11 sharks tagged, with divers installing 29 acoustic receivers on the seafloor.

The tags will transmit data for up to the next 10 years and the receivers put on the seafloor will collect data every time a shark swims near it, said Finucci.

The team will return to Fiordland every six months to gather the data from the receivers. They will monitor the short and long-term information on their movements to understand the sharks' behavior and how this may be changing.

The broadnose sevengill, a globally threatened species, is commonly observed in Fiordland, reaching over 2.5 meter in length. Fishing activity has reduced shark numbers in some locations. However, little is known about the impacts of climate change on their health and population, Finucci said.