Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Taming Jaws: Scientists lift great white sharks from ocean to fit with satellite tags

27.11.2003


A group of scientists from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), working with the Marine and Coastal Management Branch of South Africa, have perfected an unusual, hands-on method to study great white sharks, where these fearsome predators are gently hauled into research vessels to receive high-tech satellite tags.



According to the scientists, the technique is safe to both shark and researcher, resulting in better data to understand – and ultimately protect – one of nature’s largest and most maligned carnivores. So far, seven sharks ranging up to eleven-and-a-half feet long and over 800 pounds have been tagged using this technique off the coast of South Africa, one of the world’s hot spots for great whites.

The sharks are baited with a hook and line, and quickly hoisted into a specially constructed cradle. At that point, a team of two veterinarians inserts a hose with oxygen-rich water into the shark’s mouth to keep them breathing while monitoring their condition. Meanwhile, a group of scientists attach the tag to the dorsal fin to record the fish’s movements. Before the shark is released, it is given a cocktail of medicine to ensure rapid recovery.


"We have gone to incredible lengths to make sure that our sharks are treated with the most rigorous standards of safety and ethics," said WCS researcher Dr. Ramón Bonfil. "Our sharks behave like tamed kittens once in the cradle, hardly ever moving or noticing that we are working on them like the pit-crew of a F1 racing car. Then they swim away strongly upon release".

According to Bonfil, the sharks spend only three to seven minutes out of the water, resulting in a minimum of trauma. This is evidenced by the tagging results showing that all sharks continued to move about after the procedure. In fact, one shark traveled all the way to Mozambique and back again, a total of more than 2,000 miles. Six months after first being tagged, the shark continues to transmit data.

In South Africa, great whites are a protected species, but Bonfil and his research team believe these predators commonly travel into other countries’ waters, and therefore need international protection through organizations such as CITES. However, Bonfil says such work doesn’t come cheap – each tag costs around $3,500 (U.S.) which is why his program currently seeks sponsors. "We plan to put many more tags on white sharks, but that will depend on funding; this cutting-edge research is expensive, and we need support to make it happen."

Dr. Ramon Bonfil | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://wcs.org/greatwhitesharks

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index started off well in 2018

22.02.2018 | Business and Finance

FAU researchers demonstrate that an oxygen sensor in the body reduces inflammation

22.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Histology in 3D: new staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>