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Halifax Researchers Tag Great White Shark in Atlantic Canada

Shannon Regan   |   September 28, 2018

For the first time in Atlantic Canadian waters, scientists have successfully tagged a great white shark. Deep Trekker remotely operated vehicles are contributing to ocean conservation and research.

The Importance of Shark Tagging: Halifax Great White

Federal fisheries officials say Heather Bowlby of the shark unit at Halifax's Bedford Institute of Oceanography tagged the shark off southwest Nova Scotia last week. They say the tag information will assist in understanding white shark movements. Bowlby is expected to discuss her research with the media in the Halifax-area fishing village of Eastern Passage.

The news comes as Ocearch, an American group, is in Nova Scotia to begin shark research, hoping to tag some mature females and track them to a birthing site. Ocearch is best-known in Nova Scotia for tagging Hilton, a celebrity great white shark who regularly reveals his location in a wry and charming Twitter feed.

shark in halifax

What is Shark Tagging?

Acoustic tag

This tag uses specific frequency and transmitting patterns to identify different individuals when passing close to an underwater receiver. Acoustic tags can also record water temperature, depth and swimming speed. These tags are used most frequently at the Neptune Islands in Great White Shark tag projects.

Satellite tag

Satellite tracking tags send a signal every time the sharks fin breaks the waters’ surface and the transmitter can send the data straight to the satellite receiver. These tags are attached to the dorsal fin of a shark while the shark is held beside the boat. The shark can be followed for the life of the tag battery.

Read more: Get to Know Deep Trekker ROVs | Frequently Asked Questions

Can Shark Tagging Help with Shark Conservation?

In many cases, policy makers have been unable to conserve threatened sharks due to the lack of appropriate data on shark movements and behaviors, data which tagging and tracking work can provide. Moreover, Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) that track the movements of fishing boats through satellites in combination with real-time tracking of sharks can be used by management agencies to set protection boundaries around shark aggregations or insure that fishing vessels are not moving into core areas the sharks are using. Some of the other conservation benefits of tagging and tracking data include:
  • Revealing key areas to prioritize for protection, such as mating, feeding or nursery grounds
  • Determining sites where sharks are most likely to interact with fishing activities
  • Evaluating whether marine protected areas are sufficiently sized or placed to adequately protect sharks
  • Predicting the impact of climate change on shark movement and distributions

Read more: Solutions for a Healthy Ocean | World Oceans Day

Why Choose Deep Trekker for Subsea Research

halifax shark tag Our oceans take up a vast majority of our Earth and as such, they need to be treated with the importance they deserve. Environmental issues have begun to gain importance in our world and there is no better ROV to support with environmental research and surveying of our oceans and its inhabitants than the DTG2 ROV.
  • 30 second deployment time
  • Launch in the most remote areas with no topside power or boxes required
  • Gaming style controller to significantly reduce the learning curve
  • Sophisticated options such as Sonar capabilities and sampling devices
  • Affordable robust equipment
  • Several years experience providing reliable ROVs for environmental research

Contact Deep Trekker for more information on how our ROVs are contributing to ocean conservation and research

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