Southwest Fisheries Science Center recently initiated a study on basking sharks off the West Coast. One component of this study is to use satellite technology to track the movements of basking sharks and determine how oceanography influences where they go and what they do. The satellite tags will record temperature and depth throughout the track allowing us to look at habitat use. To determine the shark’s locations the tag will both link to GPS satellites when it is at the surface and record light levels which will allow us to estimate latitude and longitude.
NOAA Fisheries Tags First Basking Shark in the Pacific Ocean
(NOTE:This video does not contain audio)
Quicktime (6 MB) l Windows Media (Streaming)
On Sunday, June 6th, 2010, eight miles offshore from San Diego, California, Dr. John Hyde, the supervisor of FRD's Molecular Genetics program, and Owyn Snodgrass, a member of the FRD Large Pelagics Program, successfully tagged a basking shark, the first time this has been done in the Pacific Ocean. The video shows the shark swimming slowly at the surface of the water. When the boat is maneuvered close enough, a Wildlife Computers MK10-PAT, Fast-GPS tag is affixed to the animal just below the dorsal fin using a long pole.