MONTEREY (CBS SF & AP) — If you like the movie “Jaws” and can’t pull yourself away from the television during “Shark Week” the researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium are developing a one-of-a-kind camera just for you.
The new ‘shark cam’ will be mounted on a great white shark in an effort to discover why the fish travel each year to a spot in the Pacific Ocean nicknamed the “White Shark Cafe” or father north into an area called “The Red Triangle” — a triangular region located off the coast of northern California, extending from Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco, out slightly beyond the Farallon Islands.
Scientists know that white sharks meet at a part of the ocean about halfway between Mexico and Hawaii each winter, but they don’t know why they repeatedly make deep dives once they get there. Speculation is that the sharks are either feeding or mating.
Shark expert Sal Jorgensen at California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium is looking to mount a specialized camera on a shark that could reveal the reasons for the deep dives.
“It’s easy for a biologist like myself to dream up questions we’d like answered with technology,” Jorgensen said in a news release. “but somebody has to actually push the envelope and make that happen.”
But Jorgensen also knows challenges are ahead for his project and described developing the shark cam as very much “like a mission to Mars.”
The team has already conducted one- to five-day tests of the camera on sharks in coastal waters, making improvements to it each time.
In December or January, the researchers will travel to one of the white shark hotspots such as the “White Shark Cafe” or “The Red Triangle” where they will try to get a shark to swim close to their small boat and quickly clip the camera tag onto the shark’s dorsal fin.
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