CAPE BRETON ISLAND, NOVA SCOTIA —
What’s it like touching a stay, great white shark? Not as you may suppose.
Although its pores and skin seems to be completely easy and modern, it feels barely tough. That’s to assist cut back drag once they swim. And it’s only one factor we discovered when a type of apex predators was lifted out of the ocean, onto a ship and proper to our ft.
OCEARCH is a non-profit group that tags and tracks great whites in an try and study the place the mysterious creatures breed and provides beginning. The group provides scientists and researchers a uncommon alternative to check great white sharks arms on, lifting the apex predators out of the ocean. And they use a way like nobody else on the planet.
OCEARCH founder Chris Fisher repurposed an previous Alaskan crab fishing ship only for this goal. The ship’s hydraulic arm that used to elevate an enormous crab entice is now fitted with a platform that may be lowered into the ocean.
But the huge sharks that are guided onto that platform might be heavy sufficient to tip the ship over, so ballasts within the hull are stuffed with water as counterbalance. Believe it or not, all of that’s the simple half.
Bridging an grownup great white shark that’s greater than 4 meters lengthy and weighs greater than two cows to the ship’s elevate is kind of one other matter.
Brett McBride is without doubt one of the quietest, calmest individuals you possibly can ever meet, and he possible has the craziest job of anybody you’ve ever recognized.
Brett is a shark wrangler. A job he created, and a way he’s honed over a decade.
A fisher by commerce, he began hooking sharks the identical approach he’d hook some other fish. Leaving the massive ship, he’d leap onto a small boat with a thick rope line, a big hook and a few bait.
It appeared easy sufficient. But great white sharks are a lot greater and stronger than the rest he’d ever fished. And as soon as a white shark acquired a hook in its mouth, it could instantly dive to get free. No human can struggle that.
So Brett got here up with an concept. He began utilizing massive spherical buoys, attaching them at intervals alongside the thick fishing rope, nearer and nearer to the hooked shark’s mouth because it was being reeled in. That was a revelation.
With sufficient buoys floating close to its head, the huge shark was unable to dive. Brett might then “walk” it again to the ship and lead it onto the submerged platform.
Brett’s last step? Jump onto the submerged platform with the great white, to make sure it acquired on easily. There’s an opportunity the shark can get caught on the sting of the elevate, or attempt to flip round. So Brett holds the road that ends with a great white shark, guiding it onto the ship’s elevate.
When the platform is raised out of the water with the shark, Brett’s job is to maintain it calm. A black towel over its eyes and a tube feeding water into its mouth to assist it breathe is often all it takes.
Brett’s efforts give scientists and researchers fifteen minutes with the shark to collect knowledge, blood and tissue samples. Those will go to greater than a dozen shark research around the globe. All within the hope that some day these huge questions on great white shark breeding and birthing might be answered.
Watch W5’s documentary ‘Shark Hunt’ on CTV, Saturday at 7pm