Two unexpected Great White sharks participate to scientific study!
Two hungry sharks feeding on the rotting carcass of a whale off the Perth coast yesterday unwittingly joined Australia’s biggest research project into the predators’ behaviour.
WA Department of Fisheries spokesman Tony Cappelluti said a research vessel was heading north yesterday morning when its crew spotted a 3.5m great white shark feeding on the carcass about six nautical miles west of Scarborough.
Shark expert Dr Rory Macaulay went to investigate and a second, 4.5m-long shark was soon spotted. The scientists seized the opportunity to tag the sharks for a continuing, Australia-wide research project into when, where, how often and for how long great white sharks visit metropolitan beaches.
Leaning into the water only a metre or so away from the feeding beasts, they shot a dart-tipped spear into the back of the sharks near their dorsal fins.
This embedded tags that will monitor their movements for up to 10 years and set off alarms when they near the coastline.
“There’s hardly any reaction from the sharks — it’s almost like hitting them with a fly-swat,” Mr Cappelluti said.
He said with the prevailing weather conditions, the sharks were unlikely to present much of a risk to beachgoers.
“Those sharks will probably clean it up over the next few days,” Mr Cappelluti said.
“We’ll probably not see that whale carcass come ashore and it therefore won’t attract any sharks to the coast.” A third shark was spotted by a surfer at Rottnest yesterday morning.