UNDERSTANDING OCEAN SUNFISH STRANDINGS
The number of stranding events of marine animals in Cape Cod waters have increased in recent years. Anecdotal evidence suggests that factors of climate change (storm intensity, wind strength, warming temperatures) combined with the geography of Cape Cod is causing the rise in these events. To better understand ocean sunfish (Mola mola) behavior pre- and post-stranding in Cape Cod waters, this project explores the efficacy of using near real-time satellite tags and mark and recapture tags to monitor these events. Biologists from Coonamessett Farm Foundation (East Falmouth, MA) specializing in fish tagging will support Team Mola, a team of ocean sunfish stranding volunteers from the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance (NECWA) and the Massachusetts Audubon Society.