Science Diary: Sharks – Tagging

Science Diary: Sharks – Tagging

Music; Ambience: Sound of shark being hauled up, hook being cut

“Now I’m down on the back of the boat right next to the cradle. Should be able to hear the sound of the water washing back and forth ’cause now we’re just a couple of feet off the ocean.”

That’s Ocean Conservationist Carl Safina. He’s on the deck of a research boat looking for sharks off the coast of California. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Carl and the scientists on the boat are trying to learn more about the movement and lifecycles of Mako and Blue sharks. To do this, they have to capture and tag them. And how do you tag a shark?

“That tag looks like a little piece of spaghetti with numbers on it. It goes in the little metal tip that looks a bit like an arrowhead. It goes under the skin. Another numbered tag that looks a little bit like a cattle ear tag, but much smaller, gets popped into the dorsal fin. They’re also coming in to take a blood sample with a little syringe.”

“Shark is hooked in the mouth, which is good, sometimes they swallow the hook. And then, going in with a pair of bolt cutters to cut the hook in half, and then they pull one half out and take a pair of pliers and pull out the other half, rather than backing it out where the barb may tear more flesh and do more damage. [snap] That snap was the sound of the bolt cutters.”

“It’s 171 centimeters.”
“Down!”
“We’re gonna push, Carl.”
“And-okay.”
” Push!”
“Off he goes. Whoa! Oh boy. And gone.”
“Excellent. Excellent.”

The tags will allow researchers to learn more about the movements of these sharks, whose populations are declining.

To hear more about Carl Safina’s research, visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Science Diary: Sharks - Tagging

Hooked! Catch and release shark tagging off California's coast.
Air Date:01/29/2014
Scientist:
Transcript:

Science Diary: Sharks - Tagging

Music; Ambience: Sound of shark being hauled up, hook being cut

"Now I'm down on the back of the boat right next to the cradle. Should be able to hear the sound of the water washing back and forth 'cause now we're just a couple of feet off the ocean."

That's Ocean Conservationist Carl Safina. He's on the deck of a research boat looking for sharks off the coast of California. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Carl and the scientists on the boat are trying to learn more about the movement and lifecycles of Mako and Blue sharks. To do this, they have to capture and tag them. And how do you tag a shark?

"That tag looks like a little piece of spaghetti with numbers on it. It goes in the little metal tip that looks a bit like an arrowhead. It goes under the skin. Another numbered tag that looks a little bit like a cattle ear tag, but much smaller, gets popped into the dorsal fin. They're also coming in to take a blood sample with a little syringe."

"Shark is hooked in the mouth, which is good, sometimes they swallow the hook. And then, going in with a pair of bolt cutters to cut the hook in half, and then they pull one half out and take a pair of pliers and pull out the other half, rather than backing it out where the barb may tear more flesh and do more damage. [snap] That snap was the sound of the bolt cutters."

"It's 171 centimeters."
"Down!"
"We're gonna push, Carl."
"And-okay."
" Push!"
"Off he goes. Whoa! Oh boy. And gone."
"Excellent. Excellent."

The tags will allow researchers to learn more about the movements of these sharks, whose populations are declining.

To hear more about Carl Safina's research, visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.