OCEARCH explains shark tagging procedures - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

OCEARCH explains shark tagging procedures

(Source: OCEARCH) (Source: OCEARCH)

Bryan Frazier from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources explains the process of what happens when the OCEARCH team of scientists from the Lowcountry tags a shark.

If we catch a shark, this whole lift is going to lift up into the air and it's going to come over the side of a boat and lower down into the water. That means the fishing crew has a shark and they're ready for us scientists to go to work. They're going to lower that lift into the water and the fishing crew is going to walk the shark on there. Then, it's going to be raised up and the science team is going to go out, we're going to do as many procedures as we can in about 15 minutes. Depending on whether it's a mature male or female, it's going to be about a dozen procedures. We're going to be drawing blood to look at stress. How stressed is that fish? Is it going to survive? What we generally see is those fish are doing pretty well. We're going to implant a couple tags, an acoustic transmitter and a spot tag, which is what populates the global tracker with it's data. We're going to take a fin clip for genetics. We'll take muscle biopsies to look at feeding ecologies, then we'll also potentially ultrasound the shark if she's a mature female to see if she's pregnant. If it's a male, we're going to be looking at if it's mature or not if there's any sperm present. Then we'll be doing a lot of other things from the blood, getting the information for reproduction for contaminant analysis, for nutrition and for stable isotope analysis. So, we're going to be doing a lot of procedures in about 15 minutes or so, and then that shark is going to be ready to go. The lift will be lowered back in the water and off it goes.

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