This project isn’t too different to white shark tracking, in that it essentially involves putting a piece of equipment on the animal and recording data which can tell us more about their day to day behaviour.
One of the key differences, is that these tags (called CATS) also record video footage, giving us pretty much a first person view of what the shark is seeing and doing throughout the day.
Some of these tags record just an hour or so’s footage of sharks displaying really interesting behaviours, interacting with the world around them in ways we wouldn’t have imagined. Others, record hours and hours of sharks swimming… through infinite blue… literally nothing else, besides the odd sneeze… I’m not even joking.
Anyhow, it’s an incredible project which I’m very lucky to be a part of, utilising the skills of people from the USA, UK, South Africa and Australia.
My work on this project falls into the usual two categories: technical support and data analysis.
I’ve joined the team on two expeditions in South Africa, thus far, helping with general boat prep and operations, chumming for sharks and more often than I’m proud to admit, electrocuting myself foolishly with some random piece of equipment.
From an analytical perspective, I’m watching the videos from these tags and noting anything that happens. Everything from water visibility to shark movements and behaviour get logged.
Excited to see the publications which come out of this one.