Sharks Film with POV Cameras

To map their movements

Researchers from Hawaii and Tokyo strapped a POV camera to a tiger shark similar to this one. (Amanda Cotton/Getty Images)
Photo: Amanda Cotton/Getty Images

It seems like everyone has a POV camera these days—even sharks.

Researchers recently outfitted sharks with wearable computers that track the animals’ movements and habits. The sophisticated gadget comes with an array of sensors and a video camera to give the team a shark's-eye view of the ocean.

"What we are doing is really trying to fill out the detail of what their role is in the ocean,” Carl Meyer, an assistant researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, told Treehugger. “It is all about getting a much deeper understanding of sharks’ ecological role in the ocean, which is important to the health of the ocean and, by extension, to our own well-being.” 

The computer, which looks a bit like a walkie-talkie strapped to the shark’s fin, has already disproved a few common misconceptions about the animals. Turns out sharks swim more often than they glide, and deep-sea sharks move in slow motion compared to their shallow-water relatives.

Next the researchers plan to develop a device for the sharks to eat. The idea is to get a better understanding of the animals’ diets and feeding patterns. Maybe these predators will be able to tweet about their meal someday.

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