Shark Tagging - Dart Tags


Researcher releasing tagged juvenile sandbar shark

Sharks are captured during the summer on the VIMS longline survey, which operates in the Chesapeake Bay and adjacent coastal waters. The majority of tagged animals are juvenile sandbar sharks, which are tagged with Hallprint nylon dart tags. These small dart tags are also used for smooth dogfish, Atlantic sharpnose sharks, and juveniles of other species. Hallprint M-type stainless steel dart tags are used for larger sharks, including adult sandbars, duskies, sandtigers and others.


Researcher releasing tagged juvenile sandbar shark




  • One sandbar shark tagged by VIMS was recaptured 6 years later in the northern Gulf of Mexico; it was 2,800 km from its tagging location.

tag and recapture locations

Recapture locations for sandbar sharks tagged by the VIMS Shark Ecology Program

  • Most sandbar sharks return to the area where they were born (nursery grounds) each summer for at least 2 years. They may return to adjacent coastal waters for up to 9 years.
  • Juvenile sandbar sharks (ages 1-6) spend the winter off the coast of North Carolina within 20 km (approx. 12 mi) from shore. Older juveniles (ages 7-10) overwinter in waters as far as 60 km (approx. 37 mi) from shore.


Grubbs, R.D. and J.A. Musick. 2007. Spatial delineation of summer nursery areas for juvenile sandbar sharks in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. In: C.T. McCandless, N.E. Kohler and H.L. Pratt, Jr. (eds). Shark nursery grounds of the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast waters of the United States. ISBN: 1888569816. American Fisheries Society. Bethesda, MD.