Scientists tagging sharks to help predict hurricanes (video)

Scientists have tagged around 50 sharks, tuna, tarpon and billfish in order to track water temperatures and improve hurricane forecasting.

Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico were tagged with satellite-linked tags after researchers realised that the temperature figures coming back from them is important to people living in the path of hurricanes, CBS Houston reports.

"The fish act as biological sensors," marine biologist Jerald Ault told the Houston Chronicle. "The fish dive, so they create a vertical picture of what the water temperature looks like."

Ault added: "The data that the tags were providing could provide higher resolution data than the forecasters were getting."

According to the Houston Chronicle, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the tags were attached behind the dorsal fin and feel like an ear piercing.

"They are usually tagged in the area below the first dorsal fin, it's an area that has very few blood cells and generally not a lot of nerve tissue," John Carlson from NOAA said.

Last year, the biggest great white shark ever caught and electronically tagged in Australia was captured on camera.

The Department of Fisheries released footage of the shark, which was caught off Albany's Cheynes Beach in August.

According to, "the Department of Fisheries hooked this white pointer (aka a great white shark), then flipped it upside down into a state of tonic immobility."

It added: "Researchers then surgically implanted the tracking device into the shark's stomach, before sewing it up and releasing it."

The Department has tagged more than 300 sharks in Australian waters, but this one was the largest so far.

The shark monitoring network has around 320 receivers on the seabed and 20 satellite receivers to monitor sharks.

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Scientists tagging sharks to help predict hurricanes (video)

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