Scientists from OCEARCH, a nonprofit organization known for its unprecedented research on great white sharks, hit the daily double off Hilton Head on Friday in an unexpected first for the researchers at the end of the first week of its Lowcountry Expedition.
The team of 17 scientists caught a 1,326-pound great white shark, directed it to the side of the boat and into its sophisticated shark lift and then proceeded to place a satellite tag on the 12.5-footer they named Hilton, according to WLTX.
Later the same day, they caught a 304-pound tiger shark, a 9.4-footer they named Weimar after long-time supporter of OCEARCH, Ruth Weimar.
“It’s the first time we’ve tagged a great white shark and a tiger shark on the same day, in the same location,” Chris Fischer, OCEARCH founding chairman and expedition leader, said in a news release Monday.
The Lowcountry is a region along the South Carolina coast known for great white sharks. In 28 missions, the OCEARCH team has tagged 21 great white sharks, including the most famous one of all, Mary Lee, a 3,500-pounder.
Friday’s tagging came on the fourth anniversary of the tagging of great white shark Lydia off Jacksonville, Florida. It has since traveled 35,566 miles and was the first shark documented to have crossed the mid-Atlantic ridge.
Scientists hope to accumulate similar data from Hilton. The tagging of a tiger shark was a bonus.
“With the warmer than expected water temperatures, we thought we might see a tiger shark before the end of the expedition,” Bryan Frazier, Lowcountry expedition lead scientist and marine biologist at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, said in the news release.
“But to catch a white and a tiger on the same day was completely unexpected and will be quite beneficial to our research.
“The real-time tracking of the sharks’ movements, long-term satellite and acoustic tracking, health assessments through blood, parasite and mucus sampling, and more, will allow us to understand how the different species interact and use the habitat off the South Carolina coast.”
On Sunday, scientists tagged its second great white shark of the expedition, an 8.5-foot immature female named Savannah.
Read more at http://www.grindtv.com/wildlife/1326-pound-great-white-shark-tiger-shark-tagged-first-scientists-video/#Se5ZDBfIt6XWbBO2.99