Russ Vetter, Leg III SHARK CRUISE. Fishing has been slow inshore so we decided to change our luck. We have sailed due west and are fishing the northwest corner of Tanner Bank out closer to the real ocean, roughly 100 miles due east of San Diego. The seas are rougher out here and we were hoping for larger animals. The good news is we got our wish, the bad news is it is hard to handle the larger animals in the tagging cradle when seas are rough. Sometimes it gets to be a bit of a fire drill, but I assure you we have it under control. Today we put a satellite tag on our largest mako to date but it was too rough to take a picture.
Today’s first photo shows a large male blue shark that is not thrilled about being tagged. Blue sharks have a particular spiral motion and snake-like body that allows them to squirm around and try to get free. But they are, in general, not as aggressive as they look.
Equally fascinating is the large number of tiny blue sharks we are finding mixed in with the big folks. Large sharks are famous for cannibalism and it is odd to see such a mix of large and small sharks. The second photo shows Chief Scientist Suzy Kohin and Jeff Graham of Scripps Institute of Oceanography examining the umbilical scar (belly button) on a recently born blue shark.