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Cannon Beach Event: Meet the Sharks of the Oregon Coast

Published 01/31/22 at 5:32 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Cannon Beach Event: Meet the Sharks of the Oregon Coast

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – One Oregon coast event will soon let you meet the “Predator Next Door.”

Recent news of shark sightings on the southern Oregon coast has put the topic of the sharply-toothed fish on the minds and social media feeds of many these days. Farther up the shoreline, however, Cannon Beach's World of Haystack Rock Library Lecture Series kicks into gear with a look at the legendary beasties on February 9.

For those wondering how many kinds of species of sharks are wandering the waters of this coastline, this online event may be the ticket. Do you ever ponder which species are here, or what it has to eat to fill its belly? Did you know that Salmon sharks, a cousin to White sharks, swim down from Alaska to exploit our salmon runs? And what the Broadnose Sevengill? These sharks can hunt cooperatively to capture seals.

The talk is given by Taylor Chapple, Assistant Professor Department of Fisheries & Wildlife at OSU, and it's called “The Science of Sharks: Meeting the Predator Next Door.”

Chapple works with the Big Fish Lab at OSU, where they study the movements, behaviors and energetics of large marine creatures – especially sharks as well as tunas and mantas.

There, they utilize a mix of electronic tags and hands-on field experiments to follow them in their ocean environment, finding out where they wander to, the timing and the why's.

“We specialize in biologging tags, which allow us to hitch a ride with these animals and get a sneak-peak into their lives through a suite of sensors and cameras,” Chapple said about his work via YouTube. “By understanding these big fish and their role in our marine systems, we can better protect and manage our coastal ecosystems and resources. swimming shark.”

Dr. Chapple hails from Ohio, growing up on the shores of Lake Erie. He received his BA from Boston University in biology with a concentration in marine science in 2001. Dr. Chapple then designed experimental fishing nets to limit incidental catch off New England.

In 2002 he first began studying sharks off the coasts of Florida and throughout the Gulf of Mexico with the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. Dr. Chapple received his Ph.D in 2009 from the University of California, Davis, developing ways to estimate and assess shark species with little data. At Davis his work focused on the Common Thresher shark and the White shark. In 2010 Dr. Chapple began a Postdoctoral Research appointment with the Max Planck Institute in Germany, researching the energetics and behavior of highly nomadic marine species. He also studied how sharks navigate by developing a magnetic tag, which can manipulate the ambient magnetic field around a free-swimming animal.

In 2012 Dr. Chapple accepted an appointment as a Postdoctoral Associate then a Research Scientist at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station continuing his work on white shark behavior, physiology and movements as well as numerous other large marine fishes. Dr. Chapple is currently an Assistant Professor at Oregon State University where he develops and deploys cutting edge technologies to understand some of the oceans' most enigmatic animals.

“Friends of Haystack Rock is a nonprofit organization focused on keeping Haystack Rock healthy and thriving,” the organization said. “Our mission is to promote the preservation and protection of the intertidal life and birds that inhabit the Marine Garden and Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge at Haystack Rock. We do this in cooperation with Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) and other partnerships.”

When: Wednesday February 9th, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. (These are recurring lectures with different speakers and topics. They are held on the second Wednesday of every month from November to May).

Where: Facebook Live @Friends of Haystack Rock

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Sharks at Oregon Coast Aquarium, courtesy photo

Video stills from U.S. Coast Guard Coos Bay Station

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