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This spike we place right in next to the dorsal fin.
That is the pinger.
>> And you put it on that bone behind your ear.
You can hear it pinging.
>> Oh, man.
Oh.
It is quite high pitched.
It sounds like a really high pitched bird chirping in your ear.
>> The sound given off by the tag that will on that a frequency of 69 kilohertz, but then
each tag has its own specific frequency space ID.
>> So using underwater microphones you can hear when different sharks are nearby.
There is a little yellow buoy out there which actually has a little tracker on it.
So every time a tagged shark swims by...
This is like the shark not checking in.
>> Yes, it is.
It is like a shark checking in.
And over here \{?\} then it connects to a satellite.
>> And it emails us, lets us know.
>> At home when the shark is here.
>> And at the same time we also hope to get a tissue sample from the shark that we tag.
>> Why is that important to grab a tissue sample?>>
A couple of studies we are doing are looking at the genetic populations of the different
sharks of the world.
Even in Australia we are finding they are too different than any populations.
Also we can work out what the shark has been eating recently by its tissue.
>> Wow.
But before you can tag a shark you have to entice it close to the boat.
Well it is morning and we are just about to have breakfast, but I thought I would come
out and have a look at the shark’s breakfast.
Yeah, that is what we are going to be leaking overboard to attract the shark’s to our
cages.
We just threw the bait in and waited about two minutes and a shark came up and grabbed
it.
I was trying to fill the seagulls around the bay when it hit.
It was incredible, just unbelievable to see how fast they arrived here.
So the sharks are here and they are biting.
The goal was not to feed the sharks, but to pull the bait away from them before they can
get it.
Oh, man.
That is a big shark.
As a storm rolled in, it was my chance to observe the sharks on their own terms underwater.
I am just trying to make a nice seal with my mask so I don’t get any water in.
That means heaps of Vaseline on my moustache.
It feels disgusting.
>> Today we have got pretty stormy weather and the sharks are fired up a bit.
This is the whether that suits them for predation with the sea lions.
>> I would say good for us.
We are all cold and wet, but yeah, good conditions for the sharks.
[ multiple voices ]
>> This is gross.
You are using like half the tub on me.
>> Yeah.
That is how it is going to be.
>> Thank you.
>> There is a storm front coming through.
Sharks are fired up for you.
>> Thank you.
From the cage you can see the sharks that have already been tagged.
And you get a different perspective on what it is like to pull food away from a shark’s
mouth.
In real time you can see just how fast they can strike.
That was a pretty incredible surreal experience.
You just drop in there and it is a whole other world.
And it is funny, you don’t really feel scared of them, just, I don’t know, maybe it is
the cage.
But they just look so docile and peaceful.
So hard is it to stick one of those in the dorsal fin?
>> If I can get a shark in really close and get the right shot, they make it pretty easy
when they swim past the back of the boat.
The platform here.
>> There it is.
>> They have to be going slightly going away and they have to turn to present, so...
>> Come on.
Come on.
Oh.
With the light fading, tagging was put on hold until tomorrow.
And that gave me a chance to talk to the researchers about why this research is so important.
>> Before protection they were hunted for sport.
They were hunted for their jaws and they are hunted just out of fear.
>> Everybody was scared of sharks.
>> You know, the Jaws movie, the Jaws phenomenon.
It created an awful lot of fear of these animals.
>> Sharks were mindless killers.
>> And people just wanted them out of the ocean.
The population on has basically crashed.
>> And this research is essential to help their numbers recover.
>> We have to find out how many sharks are out there.
We have to find out where they travel to, where they breed.
That is one of the holy grails that no one knows.
Where do they give birth?
We don’t know that either.
No one has ever seen them breeding.
No one has ever seen them giving birth.
And if you can’t protect sharks in those key areas, then you are not going to really
be able to have much of an impact across the population as a whole.
>> That is great for science.
>> You know, we be have begin to scratch the surface with satellite tagging.
We always thought white sharks were a coastal species.
We have found that they are able to do dives well over a kilometer deep.
They frequently dive off of the edge of the continental shelf.
They go in and inhabit niches out in the open ocean for months and months and months on
end.
So this whole myth that they are this coastal creature has been completely debunked with
the advent of this new technology.
It is one of those things where these animals are... if you ask a question and you conduct
your research and you answer your question and then you have five more questions that
have arisen from that answer, so that is... yeah.
There is obviously there is a lot more to learn.
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