From WPTV TV in Florida, USA:
The importance of great white sharks; scientific community is testing & tagging sharks off Florida
Jan 30, 2018
There is important research underway right now off the Florida coast.
Researchers fear the great white shark population may be declining, and if that’s the case, lots of other fish species will decrease. That would have a great impact on all of us.
Mary Lee, Hilton, George and Savannah are just some of the eastern seaboard great white sharks that have been on the Ocearch floating lab, and researchers say they need more.
Savannah pinged off our coast a few times in January, including near Port St. Lucie on Jan. 9. Her last known location was near Key West.
“Ship of opportunity for researchers like myself,” Dr. Bob Hueter, a senior scientist at the Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota and chief science advisor for Ocearch.
This is day eight of 25. Ocearch is in the middle of its 31st shark expedition, and Hueter’s 10th. …
Fischer says this is the only ship in the world that can board a great white, test it, tag it and release it without dying.
“The lift really is what makes the impossible possible,” Fischer said.
The scientists on board take samples of the shark. If she’s pregnant, an ultrasound.
They’ll attach a tracker to the dorsal fin. When it surfaces, it’s pinged by a satellite.
Savannah last buzzed our coastline earlier this month.
“She showing us where the nursery of tweener type shark is living and how big that is and we know how to manage it”, Fischer said,
Whites are born at about 4.5 feet and aren’t mature until they’re about 15 feet. Savannah is about 8 feet.
“As you see more and more white sharks in Florida and more and more other species of sharks, you’re going to see more and more fish,” Fischer said.
On this day — we didn’t catch any sharks. They only need one in their 25 days to make their expedition worth it.
The next shark they catch will feature a new transmitter, created by the European Space Agency. It’s never been used on an animal before, but Ocearch says it will provide more data and the battery lasts longer.
The next expedition is set for May, called the Gulf Stream drift starting off the coast of Miami and headed north.
Today, Dutch Vroege Vogels radio told 4 February 2018 is the last day of the expedition, and so far they had not caught sharks; as the sea water this winter is colder than usually, so the sharks are absent from where they are usually. The new tags invented by ESA would be able to provide much more information than the older tags, about depths at which sharks swim etc.
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