You are watching: Can you fish for great white sharks
A crew of scientists and fishermen custom-fitted a retired crab boat to capture (and release) sharks.
August 23, 7:55 a.m. Finn breaches the Atlantic waters off the Hamptons in brand-new York. “Finn” is a good white shark, and the exact time the the breach is well-known only because of a tracking an equipment put in ar by the OCEARCH research study fishing vessel.
Not just anyone have the right to catch great white sharks. In fact, good whites space illegal to capture without a permit. Castle are detailed as fragile on the Endangered types list.
Now 10 years old, the OCEARCH embarks top top its 30th expedition off the coast of lengthy Island, N.Y. Its goal this time is to learn much more about white sharks much less than a year old.
Over the last te at sea, the crew has occurred a method for catching and releasing sharks. Some are much more than 4,000 lbs., some space young and tiny, like Finn.
We speak with exploration Leader and Founding Chairman, chris Fischer, to better understand the boat and how they capture sharks.
Custom Boat: The OCEARCH
The OCEARCH’s crew catches sharks and also performs behavioral tests and GPS tagging. The vessel requirements to have the ability to land a shark and also keep it stable to do the tests.
To outfit the OCEARCH, Fischer take it a retirement Bering Sea crabber and also converted that to encompass a “corral” of sorts v a lift come raise massive sharks. But multiple loads in load the hauls are a complicated task, even for a crabber. Indeed, after ~ the crew floor a shark its load is so good it might tip the watercraft over.
To fix the problem, castle leveraged the king crab stop on the other side the the boat. Together the sharks are lugged onboard, the crew filling the crab holds through water for counter ballast.
Experience Is Key: Landing A large Shark
To begin, OCEARCH works through NOAA and also a host of research programs to secure permits because that the legit catch.
Then, the crew locates herbal chum fish populations and also adds in their own chum to entice sharks.
They do every little thing with a hand line, making use of rope and also some expert boat driving to record the beasts. In ~ first, the procedure took several hours, however now the system is dialed. Fischer dubbed it “training sharks, not recording sharks.”
The boat starts by maneuvering in former of the animal after it’s on the line. The handmade acts together block to prevent the shark from getting away. Fischer explained if the shark knows it can’t escape, it provides up.
This an approach of catching additionally lowers anxiety levels, together the sharks aren’t struggling and also fighting.
After the catch is in the corral, the background raises the animal. Castle insert 2 hoses in the mouth, and keep hoses on the gills. A dark, wet towel goes over their eyes, and the sharks place still, Fischer said.
From corralling to on-board, the process takes 30 minutes. Then, ~ 15 minute of study work, the sharks are released.
Fischer listed because the sharks aren’t stressed, there isn’t flopping and thrashing. “They don’t also move in the lift,” the said.
Shark Tracking: OCEARCH Database
You have the right to view every one of the OCEARCH’s catches, from an excellent whites come tiger sharks, via its comprehensive live shark tracking website.
To date, the team has tagged an ext than 300 sharks. That the catches, about a third are an excellent white sharks.
In enhancement to tagging, the sharks additionally undergo tissue and blood sampling, and stress-monitoring exams.
Not just does the OCEARCH offer an extensive, free-to-use database because that anyone indigenous PhDs to grade-school students, it likewise accepts researcher from dozens of institutions on board.
Why catch Sharks?
Sharks pat a pivotal duty in the s ecosystem. If oceans shed sharks, 2nd tier predators explode, causing problems for stable fish populations.
Fischer likened the scenario to the wolf of Yellowstone. As soon as the predators returned to the park, the landscape flourished.
But it’s not just ecosystems that benefit from shark research.
One research in the works intends to curb shark bite impacts on humans. When someone is attacked by a great white shark, they can die from infection. Scientists are taking bacteria indigenous the teeth and gums that the sharks caught via the OCEARCH and also testing it because that potential antibiotics treatment.
And this is yet one experiment. For the brand-new York Expedition, 12 research projects from 18 collaborating establishments are at this time in the works.
Expedition brand-new York
In 2016, The OCEARCH caught nine young white sharks. They went back last week to find out more. Each of its expeditions lasts 25 days and they carry out three per year.
Little is recognized about good white shark pups much less than a year old. Where and when an excellent whites mate, whereby they migrate, and where they nurse room all concerns the exploration hopes to answer.
For anyone who want to aid OCEARCH, COSTA sunglasses partnered v the study team to relax a limited-edition frame. The glasses have shark-theme rims and part of proceeds go towards the OCEARCH.
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–Follow the expeditions, complete with its very first two recorded captures via the Expedition brand-new York website.