Biologging with white sharks
The how and why of our white shark biologging projects in South Africa and California
We put cameras on white sharks
And it's not just cameras. Biologging is an emerging field in research science and our research group have been working at the forefront of it for many years now. On this page you'l find out about a couple of the different types we use and some videos of our deployments.
Our research team deploying an experimental 'Cafe Cam' on a white shark at Dyer Island. Taylor is fitting the tag, Sal is ready to pull him back in case anything goes wrong, I'm handling the fish heads and Ed is mixing up our chum to attract the sharks.
The key difference between a biologger and a transmitter is that data is stored inside the biologger and often involves getting the unit back for downloading.
For more on transmitters, find our tagging and tracking page here.
The most commonly used biologger in research projects I’ve been involved with is the Customized Animal Tracking Solutions (CATS) Cam. I’ve deployed them on white sharks in South Africa and California and around 80% of the data I’m using in my PhD has come from these units [1,2].
I’ve also helped out with research teams using these types of biologger on flatback turtles in north Western Australia – so they’re certainly not limited to shark research!
For a little more information on how we put these tags on and some of the things we’ve learned check out the video made by Monterey Bay Aquarium below.
But these aren’t the only form of biologger we use. We also have a version that lacks a camera and sits in the stomach of the shark .
In this video, Sal explains how and why we use the custom biologger we call the ‘Blubber Burrito’.
Both these videos remain the property of Monterey Bay Aquarium with all rights reserved and are made available through their Youtube channel. Subscribe there for more videos like them, or keep reading more on this kind of research by selecting from the pages below.
- Chapple et al. (2015) Tracking sharks without teeth: a non-invasive rigid tag attachment for large predatory sharks. Animal Biotelemetry 3, 14
- Jewell et al. (2019) Cryptic habitat use of white sharks in kelp forest revealed by animal-borne video. Biology Letters 15, 4
- Jorgensen et al. (2015) In the belly of the beast: resolving stomach tag data to link temperature, acceleration and feeding in white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). Animal Biotelemetry 3, 52