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Images: Shark Tales

Blue sharks like this one, once abundant in the open ocean, are seriously overfished. There is essentially no cap on the number of these animals that can be caught, even though, as graduate student Camrin Braun's research shows, little is known about how blue sharks behave in their natural habitat. (Nuno Sá)
Camrin Braun, a graduate student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography, and colleagues will spend hours working to find the right size and species of shark to tag. When they do catch a shark, they only have a few minutes to apply the tags. (Tane Sinclair-Taylor,
“It’s like a NASCAR pit crew once the shark is brought aboard the boat,” Braun said. Researchers hustle to take a blood sample and body measurements and attach satellite tags to the sharks. (Camrin Braun, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Satellite tags placed on sharks record their movements through the ocean, as well as conditions of the seawater they are swimming through. The tags relay their data via satellite back to scientists, giving them some of the world’s first views into where blue sharks go and what they are doing. (Tane Sinclair-Taylor,
Graduate student Camrin Braun tracks how sharks move over time via data transmitted by positioning tags, which are attached to sharks' dorsal fins. The tags transmit data via satellite when the sharks swim at the surface. As shown on this map, some animals swim thousands of miles over the course of a few months. (Camrin Braun, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Sharks are a popular item at this fish market in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Tens of millions of sharks are caught annually to be made into shark fin soup and other products. (Simon Thorrold, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
“We don't know where sharks move or why, where they mate, or where they have pups,” said WHOI biologist Simon Thorrold. Satellite tags like the one he's holding here are giving scientists an unprecedented ability to follow sharks and begin to understand their behavior. (Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Inevitably, the sharks Camrin Braun tracks through satellite tagging encounter other animals and organisms during their travels. Through the email updates Braun receives on the sharks' positions, he can infer what his tagged sharks, Johnny, Oscar, and Roland, interact with along the way. (Nuno Sá)
In addition to blue sharks like the one shown here, Camrin Braun also tags and tracks mako sharks, tiger sharks, and sometimes even great white sharks through his work with the nonprofit organization OCEARCH. The information he receives from satellite tags allows him to understand how these different species behave in the open ocean. (Nuno Sá)
It's a long day spent on the boat waiting for the right size and species of sharks to take their bait. Graduate student Camrin Braun passes the time eating pizza, chatting with his fellow crew members, and trying to keep dry in the rain—knowing that as soon as a shark is caught, it will be time to spring into action. (Sam Payet)
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