Researcher successfully tag and release a huge Great White.
In a research vessel stationed off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla., members from OCEARCH captured and tagged another Great White shark Sunday.
She’s 14.5 feet long and weighs nearly 2,000 pounds. Her name is Lydia, after Lydia Moss Bradley, the founder of Bradley University and long-time friend of Caterpillar, who is sponsoring OCEARCH for three years. Lydia is the first great white captured, satellite tagged and released in an area south of Cape Cod, Mass.
Researchers found the 2,000-pound shark at the mouth of St. Johns River, which is near the popular surfing spot of Mayport Poles near Jacksonville.
In order to study her, they had to capture her and bring her on board. She was cooperative.
Once Lydia was pulled into the ship with a one-of-a-kind a lift, the crew had only 15 minutes to collect blood samples, perform an ultrasound to see if she is pregnant, and equip her with tracking equipment, much like the other two great whites that have been traveling up and down the Eastern seaboard most of the winter.
Now you can follow her movements by going here. NEAT!
Now the bad news.
The most accurate assessment to date of the impact of commercial fishing on sharks suggests around 100 million are being killed each year.
The researchers say that this rate of exploitation is far too high, especially for a species which reproduces later in life.
The major factor driving the trade is the ongoing demand for shark fins for soup in Chinese communities.
There is a serious concern that the sharks are not reproducing fast enough to keep up with the rate of fishing. Different species and areas are being targeted in order to meet the demands. The soup is typically associated with prosperity and special occasions but certain medicinal properties have been associated with shark fins – sexual potency, enhance skin quality, increase one’s qi or energy, prevent heart disease, and lower cholesterol. [Source]