The White Shark Trust Field Research Assistantship is proud to introduce you to our assistants:

Chris MILNES (Grantham, Lincolnshire, England), Andy CASAGRANDE (Santa Cruz, California, USA), Polly CROUCH, Alice CLARKE (London, England), and Rick HOLMES (Likely, BC, Canada).

Alan DUNCAN (Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland) has been with us since the beginning of September. Marine and Coastal Management (MCM) invited one of our assistants to help them during their two week satellite tagging project at Dyer Island and in Mossel Bay on board the FRS Sardinops. Alan was the lucky assistant to join this joint research program with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). He joins the tagging team from the 3rd to the 17th of November 2003...

Friday the 7th of November 2003... Exciting day! Very exciting day! The day Andy became a Star! He began the day by singing his Great White Shark song in the little harbour of Kleinbaai to some of the FRS Sardinops crew... Then we stoped at Predator II, a commercial cage diving boat, with 30 Semester at Sea students on board where Andy had a fantastic audience again...
We then anchored Lamnidae next to Stan (Shark Diving Unlimited) with also ten Semester at Sea students on board... and again Andy gave them a show with his Great White Shark song followed by the Pitbull and F... the War song... A real Star! Download or listen to Andy's songs on his web site...

We observed four White Sharks today, but we did not chum for a long time...

At around 2 in the afternoon, the Sardinops team was ready to try to catch and tag a White Shark with a SPOT satellite tag... we then lifted anchor and drifted alongside the FRS Sardinops to observe the delicate tagging operation...

Alan Duncan was on board the FRS Sardinops to assist the team, handling drills and tools to Ramon Bonfil and Mike Meyer.

Polly Crouch and Andy Casagrande joined the Sardinops after the first tagging operation to assist further tagging operations, helping the team record the operation with photographs and video. Unfortunately for them, no other shark came to visit the boat. Fortunately for them they were invited to eat a warm and cooked meal on the boat, while we were starving on Lamnidae having been out at sea for over 9 hours...

The first shark we observed in the morning was just under three meters in length, the ideal Shark size to tag...

The joint MCM / WCS team managed to attract this Shark to the Sardinops in the afternoon, and their skiboat hooked the Shark, and dragged it to the stretcher on the Sardinops shortly after capture...

Once the Shark on the stretcher, the team moves very quickly to be able to release the White Shark as soon as possible. The veterinerian injects the Shark with a cocktail of antibiotics and vitamins, while the team drills holes through the dorsal fin and attaches the Satellite tag onto the fin. The whole operation from catch to release last around 10-15 minutes...
At around six in the evening, we started chuming again closer to shore for some White Sharks... Lamnidae felt a bit empty having lost Alan, Andy and Polly to the Sardinops.

Chris Milnes has "created" a novel seal decoy since he is so eager to see a White Shark breach... he finished it on the boat while we were waiting around today. Around seven, just before sunset, we started towing Chris' seal decoy behind the boat... unfortunately we were not that lucky today...

Some photographs taken by Alan Duncan during the past couple of days on board the FRS Sardinops...

We all went to our favorite restaurant "Paprika" in Stanford as a farewell party...

Alan observed six White Sharks swimming in the shallow waters (where we usually go swimming) along the shores on the way to Holbaai, our inshore site...

The craddle / stretcher is deployed on the side of the FRS Sardinops...

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Warning

Some of the photographs shown in these pages depict hooking and handling Great White Sharks. These pictures do not reflect the White Shark Trust's foundation statement. The SPOT satellite tagging is a joint collaboration between the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Marine and Coastal Management (MCM). The White Shark Trust does not agree or support the hooking operation of White Sharks to attach SPOT tags to the dorsal fins. The White Shark Trust would like to see alternative attachment methods used without hooking and hauling the Sharks out of the water. The White Shark Trust does however support the PAT tagging program which involves normal spear tagging without direct handling.