Friday, October 9, 2009

Marine CSI - Science in Action

The Dorsal Fin blog broke the story of last years research expedition to Isla Guadalupe currently featured in a series of images in Outdoor Life magazine.

The tagging team will also be featured next month on National Geographic television.

Without a doubt the method of catching live white sharks and placing embedded tags directly into their dorsal fins is controversial, and for commercial shark diving operators and clients who encounter these animals, hard to watch.

The science behind the invasive technique might well be beneficial to the sharks in the long run as we still do not know very much about the finite migratory movements of these magnificent animals each and every year. Traditional satellite tags have a history of failure and only track animals for short periods of time.

The team doing this work has a solid track record tagging these animals at this site and unlike previous efforts that were done by researchers who did not know this site or these animals and who had just "dropped in" with a one time film crew, this effort will open a new chapter of shark science.

Marine CSI, has been tagging great whites at this site over the past decade of investigation.

As a commercial shark diving operator I am o.k with credible science done by professionals. This is real science. The fact that National Geographic is there to document does not diminish the effort.

There's also a very fine line between "credible science" and the ad hoc "experiments" you often see on Discovery Channel Shark Week that have no basis in science, and are often played out so film crews can do questionable and increasingly invasive things with sharks.

Patric Douglas CEO