From the Honolulu Advertiser (Hawaii):
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Tagging sharks a chilling task
Catching powerful sharks takes big hooks, lots of line
By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Science Writer
Editor’s note: Advertiser science writer Jan TenBruggencate is accompanying the scientific expedition of the NOAA ship Hi’ialakai into the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
He is sending regular reports and photos via satellite.
FRENCH FRIGATE SHOALS — The float ripped through the water, occasionally submerging, dragging a wake, headed directly for our boat.
“It’s swimming the float right at us! This is ‘Jaws‘ stuff right here!” biologist Matt Craig shouted. …
Tagging is an amazing process to take part in.
At one point, I held a 10-foot tiger shark by the tail, feeling its fluid but powerful muscles and tendons flex under the striped sandpaper skin.
Another time, I held a 6-foot Galapagos shark by its pectoral fins as its eye watched me intently. …
Meyer has been surgically inserting tags in sharks in the main Hawaiian Islands for several years under the auspices of HIMB researcher Kim Holland’s lab.
Only in the past few years has he added the northwestern islands, already providing insight into shark behavior.
Tiger sharks, for example, were once believed to be very territorial, but tagging research has showed they clearly can move great distances.
One of Meyer’s tigers tagged at French Frigate Shoals showed up at Kona, 700 miles away. Whether the movement is common among the species requires more research.
See also on the sandtiger shark.
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP)—The World Wildlife Fund launched a campaign on Thursday to see if fishermen can attach magnets to their hooks to avoid accidentally capturing sharks, which are reportedly able to detect—and presumably avoid—magnetic fields.
The idea is part of the WWF’s ongoing campaign to promote selective fishing, in which fishermen avoid catching species they’re not after.
While such animals are frequently thrown back into the sea, they usually die of the injuries they receive in the process.