The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, based in Cape Cod, and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries is working hard to find out everything they can about great whites on the East Coast. Cape Cod is a feeding ground for whites as they chase breeding seals in the area. “Yesterday, Dr. Greg Skomal with the MDMF working with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, tagged six white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod! An exciting day for the team!” This is what that tagging process looks like.
Skomal is using a long harpoon-like pole to deploy what’s called a CATS tag (Customized Animal Tracking Solutions). The tag is temporary and applied to the dorsal fin. It doesn’t penetrate deeply but it gives researchers a wealth of information on shark movement and tendencies, especially as they’re on the hunt. It’s sort of like “looking over a shark’s shoulder.” You can see footage from the CATS tag below.
“What is a CAT tag?” wrote the people at AWSC, “It gives a glimpse into the life of white sharks! By deploying these revolutionary tags (with video!) that record the fine-scale movements of white sharks, the team has documented novel behaviors previously unknown to shark science!”
You can find more great white tagging videos here.