People have longed been fascinated by sharks and modern wireless technology is now being used to help us understand these creatures. TechHive reported on Aug. 31, 2013, Sharks go wireless as scientists tag them to track their travels. Mary Lee is a great white shark that's the same weight and about the same length as a full sized family car. Ever since last September when Mary Lee received an array of radio, acoustic, and satellite tags, she has travelled from Massachusetts to Florida.
At times Mary Lee has been so close to the coastline that scientists tracking her called beach authorities in Florida to warn them about her. This 16-foot, 3456-pound shark has also headed into open ocean, taking her February vacation off the beaches of Bermuda. Nick Whitney, a marine biologist with the Mote Marine Laboratories in Sarasota, Florida, said, "She was undoubtedly not the only one there. Sharks have probably been doing it for millions of years."
Whitney has also commented, "We're learning things that 10 years ago we would have never dreamed we could have learned about these species," as reported by Computerworld. Whitney was speaking from a research vessel off of Cape Cod, Mass., and is is part of a team that runs OCEARCH, which is a non-profit, global shark tracking project that uses four different tagging technologies in order to create a three-dimensional image of a shark's activities.
OCEARCH has a goal of developing successful conservation and management strategies by studying shark habits using this technology. Sharks are important in helping to maintain a balance in the delicate oceanic ecosystem because they have an effect on all levels in the food web below them, and so the work of OCEARCH is important in helping us to better understand how to help our planet survive.