Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tagging GWS in Oz!

Like I said, nobody is missing out on anything.

Check out the video.
No drama no superheroes - just some information, as it should be.
The fisheries department of WA is continuing to tag those GWS and to perfect its early warning system - and  I know for a fact that excellent, experienced people are standing by should the department decide that it really requires any external assistance.
Story here - and more info here!

Nuff said.


Karena said...


Could you please elaborate on how these tags are actually put into the sharks' stomach? "Acoustic receivers were internally surgically implanted in the shark’s stomach before it was sewn up and released." ... Are they just cut up and sewn up again without further ado?

While I do see the advantages of this sort of tagging I've got to admit that to my eyes it looks quite unnerving ... Where could I find more information on this type of tagging and are there any studies concerning the pain perception of sharks in general that you could recommend? Any further reading suggestions? Thanks!

DaShark said...

Lots of thorny issues here Karena! :)

Dunno about the tags - my guess would be "abdominal cavity" rather than stomach but I don't know for sure.
Try contacting the fisheries department or CSIRO for clarifications, or else a research lab like the Sharklab - or send me an e-mail & I'll put you in contact with people in the know.

Re the pain.
If I remember correctly, research suggests that fishes don't feel pain as they lack the appropriate receptors, and our observations appear to confirm that, see this post.

But of course that depends on how one defines "pain", and on where one draws the line of what is acceptable within the continuum stretching from "mild temporary discomfort" to "persistent and excruciating pain".

Those are of course judgement calls, and different people come to different conclusions based on their ethical imperatives but also individual circumstances.

We for instance have decided against any invasive research, including hooking, at Shark Reef but are less squeamish when it comes to hooking the juvenile Bull Sharks in the rivers, this principally because they are so much smaller and can be dragged to the boat and processed so much faster.

Back to those GWS, handling those large and extremely powerful animals will certainly involve quite a bit of brute force, especially considering that one does want to process them fast and whilst they are still "green" and not fatally exhausted.
But Oz is awash in rules and regulations, and I have no doubt that those folks are duty bound to follow generally accepted animal handling protocols.

Karena said...

Thanks a lot for the info and the link to the other post. Will follow up with an email later on ... ;)

Yannis said...

The acoustic transmitters are sewn up into the body cavity. It only takes a small incision and can be closed with one suture. We have recaptured sharks we tagged a few days later, and the incision has already started to heal.The sharks are turned onto their backs which puts them into a trance like state (for the most part). The incision is small and they dont respond to it. The larger sharks seem to go into a deeper trance than the smaller ones. Once we got big tigers onto their backs they wouldnt flinch until after we let them go. Hope this helps

DaShark said...

Thanks Yannis, appreciate! :)

Shark Diver said...

Wait a sec, there's A LOT missing here:

1. Hype. None whatsoever, without shark hype how are we supposed to believe that any real science is happening?

2. Cool graphics. Again do not see any, along with the VO, intros, stings, this is dubious shark science at best without this stuff embedded all over it.

3. Corporate sponsorship. I didn't see one set of sun glasses, one logo t-shirt or Formula One racetrack style signage anywhere in this clip, what is going on? are those guys even scientists?

4. Assholes. Missing the assholes, where are the over sized Hollywood B-Listers in this clip? I don't see them nor do I see the petite blonde bimbettes, or the self absorbed camera guy who is trying to over compensate for the fact he's only 5'2 by standing on deck rails and smirking like he knows even what time of day it is.

5. Commercials. Where are the commercials for cars, dish soap, and Spanish lessons?

Look Da Shark I don't want to tell you who to support, but those guys are amateur hour compared to some of the reality tv shows about shark tagging that I have seen lately.

Maybe if they started reaching out to some of the "actual professionals" they might get somewhere.

You know like those guys in Fiji last year with the big Sea Shepherd boat?

Or that 5'2 camera guy who is the "Greatest Shark Conservationists" of our time, he treated Emma at Tiger Beach so well you know he has pointers for those so called shark researchers in Australia.

Some deep thoughts to consider.

Deep thoughts;)

DaShark said...

Brilliant - and so true! :)