OceanGate Blog Post

Possession Sound Shark Research: Dive 11 Update

By: Mikayla Monroe
August 22, 2019

On recent dives, Senior Sub Pilot Kenny kept seeing a school of fish on our Teledyne Pan and Tilt Sonar, but they were always just out of human eyesight. On Dive 11, Kenny tried a trick: when he saw the school on the sonar’s horizon, he turned off our external lights and waited. Sure enough, the school inched closer and closer to the sub. Then we turned one light back on to discover that we were in the middle of a school of rockfish!

Some interesting things to note about the Spiny Dogfish shark sightings:

  • Sub crew on Dive 10 witnessed a Spiny dogfish shark ram into the bait cage trying to reach the bait (see 1:45 on the YouTube video)
  • When we leave the bait box and motor around, dogfish sharks seem to follow Cyclops 1 like remora. (Remora attach to a large shark in hopes of being protected.) When we stop for a moment, they suddenly swim around to the front of our dome as if to ask, “Why have we stopped, big shark? Is there food here?”
  • Dogfish sharks, although relatives to sixgills, are likely sixgill prey as well. Our hope is that along with the bait, dogfish sharks will attract sixgills to our location
In an effort to attract sharks that may be hiding farther away, we have started soaking the salmon and halibut bait in Herring blood, like you would marinate a steak. This, along with changing the bait location, has resulted in a greater density of marine life. Our dive site first started Southwest of Hat or Gedney Island in Possession Sound, but due to a silty bottom being stirred up by hustling crabs and our submersible thrusters, we decided to relocate to the Northeast side of Hat Island. Now we have better visibility thanks to a less silty bottom.

Looking forward to what Dive 12 reveals!