Science Diary: Sharks – Reeling In

Science Diary: Sharks – Reeling In

Music; Ambience: loud boat engine

CS: “We’re out here in a very calm Pacific Ocean. Cannot see land from where we are right now in the haze.”

JM: But when you’re out to catch and tag sharks, it likely won’t be calm for long. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Ocean Conservationist Carl Safina is taking part in a shark abundance survey team. The area of the ocean that they are working in is a nursery for sharks, and so they’re not expecting to catch anything too big today.

CS: “We’ve done our first long line set near Catalina Island, and we’ve just pulled back. We’ve been getting dozens of hooks back with nothing on them, but we just caught a small mako shark about four feet long. First thing that happens is the leader is unclipped from the long line. And the leader with the shark on it is led around the back of the boat and into a metal cradle that’s lowered into the sea and then raised, so the scientists can work on it. Then they take a hose that’s fitted at the end with a hard PVC pipe that has water being pumped, and they put that into the shark’s mouth, and then cover its eyes with a dark cloth. That quiets it, and keeps it able to breathe, well-ventilated. Then they get to work with the tags.”

JM: By tagging the sharks, researchers will be able to track their movements of the over the course of the shark’s lifetime.

CS: “The first tag that goes in just ahead of the dorsal fin, it has a number on it.”

CS: “One eleven. Down! Down!” [cradle engine sound]

JM: Learning more about one of the area’s top underwater predators gives researchers a sense of the health of the ocean ecosystem. Check out Carl Safina’s blog, on pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Science Diary: Sharks - Reeling In

In the Pacific Ocean, a shark abundance survey team catches, calms and tags sharks, in an effort to monitor their population.
Air Date:01/22/2008
Scientist:
Transcript:

Science Diary: Sharks - Reeling In

Music; Ambience: loud boat engine

CS: "We're out here in a very calm Pacific Ocean. Cannot see land from where we are right now in the haze."

JM: But when you're out to catch and tag sharks, it likely won't be calm for long. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Ocean Conservationist Carl Safina is taking part in a shark abundance survey team. The area of the ocean that they are working in is a nursery for sharks, and so they're not expecting to catch anything too big today.

CS: "We've done our first long line set near Catalina Island, and we've just pulled back. We've been getting dozens of hooks back with nothing on them, but we just caught a small mako shark about four feet long. First thing that happens is the leader is unclipped from the long line. And the leader with the shark on it is led around the back of the boat and into a metal cradle that's lowered into the sea and then raised, so the scientists can work on it. Then they take a hose that's fitted at the end with a hard PVC pipe that has water being pumped, and they put that into the shark's mouth, and then cover its eyes with a dark cloth. That quiets it, and keeps it able to breathe, well-ventilated. Then they get to work with the tags."

JM: By tagging the sharks, researchers will be able to track their movements of the over the course of the shark's lifetime.

CS: "The first tag that goes in just ahead of the dorsal fin, it has a number on it."

CS: "One eleven. Down! Down!" [cradle engine sound]

JM: Learning more about one of the area's top underwater predators gives researchers a sense of the health of the ocean ecosystem. Check out Carl Safina's blog, on pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.