Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Prehistoric Sixgill Shark | Ocean Vet | S01 E06 | Free Documentary

Prehistoric Sixgill Shark | Ocean Vet | S01 E06 | Free Documentary

This is Doctor Neil Burnie. He lives in Bermuda, a stunning Atlantic Island
six hundred and forty miles east of North Carolina, USA.He’s spent the last thirty
years practicing veterinary medicine, but now he’s transferring his veterinary skills
to help save, protect, and learn more about the incredible marine life of Bermuda’s
Ocean. This is a completely wild shark. Alongside his dedicated Ocean Vet team, are
a number of scientists, Yeah, this and probably. marine biologists,
Just cut a little nick off the back fin. and specialist master divers, helping to perform
a number of unique and dangerous procedures, in a bid to safeguard critically important
marine species.Together, the team will be fitting satellite tags to huge tiger sharks,
saving precious green turtles, dissecting giant blue marlin, and obtaining unique toxin
samples from forty five tonne, migrating, humpback whales. Yay! Woo hoo!My knees are like jell-o. Yes, man! This is Bermuda! Home to Doctor Neil Burnie, the Ocean Vet. Sharks, they have existed for over four hundred
and twenty million years. They were around before land vertebrates and
even before plant species colonised the continents. They are without question one of the most
perfectly formed of all planet earth’s predators. The sixgill shark, like many shark species,
is listed as near threatened. Cruising Bermuda’s inky depths at well over
two thousand feet, they often fall foul of deep sea commercial fishing lines set down
for table species such as, the Atlantic wreckfish. With no real commercial value, these massive
sharks are hauled to the surface, killed, and used as bait. Ok, the shark, the shark is, er, maybe eighty
feet down right now. You know, let’s get Drew in the water. In this episode, the Ocean Vet team are on
a rescue mission. They’ll be working alongside Andrew Marshall,
and Stevie Cabral, two local commercial fishermen, fishing for deep sea wreckfish. Wanna get that, might wanna sort that out
later. Maybe, Drew. Andrew has requested the assistance of the
Ocean Vet team, to attempt the rescue and release of any sixgill sharks that are accidentally
caught. Yeah, it’s a lot of gear to transfer. You can see there’s a big ruley sea, so
it’s all hands on deck. Under the water, Neil, will complete a dangerous
assessment dive to monitor the condition of a sixgill shark as it ascends from the depths. The team will also be working waterside, to
free this monster shark, carefully removing the tangled fishing lines and hooks. Slap it with the heel of your hand, man. Slap it as hard as you can. No. Hard as you can, all your weight! Finally, Choy Aming, the series marine biologist,
assists Neil to install a sophisticated PSAT tracking computer, a tag that will reveal
if the shark makes it back to the ocean floor and indeed survives. Ugh! That is a lot of, er, shark! Local fishermen think it’s unlikely a sixgill
will make it through the catch and release. The Ocean Vet team are on a mission to prove
it can be done. So this is a genuine first for us. We’ve never rescued a shark from commercial
fishing lines and we’ve never seen a sixgill, so it’s gonna be very interesting what happens
today. Basically, with the sixgills they live down
deep. When the guys go wreck fishing, sometimes
the sixgills will get tangled up in the wreck fishing gear and they get brought up to the
surface. Stevie, and Andrew are out there wreck fishing
right now and they’ve invited us out today to help them rescue any sharks that might
get brought up in the line. Relax, there we go. Hose is in. The Ocean Vet team have a vast amount of experience
tagging and releasing sharks, including large species, like the tiger shark. But Choy, and Neil have yet to even see a
sixgill, let alone attempting to rescue one from commercial fishing lines. Then, we’ve got, at least that is secure. The team need to be able to alter their technique
on the fly if they’re to stand any chance of getting this right. As always, Neil, and Choy are supported by
the entire Ocean Vet team. Andrew Kirkpatrick, is the underwater videographer,
and will help Neil assess the sixgill shark as it’s brought up to the boat; Dylan Ward,
is taking control of the Ocean vet boat, Bones; and Oscar Duess, is piloting the Ocean Vet
RIB, deploying divers, and supporting the needs of the entire team. The commercial fishing boat, Bay Routes, is
six kilometres, four miles, south of Bermuda’s southwest edge. The ocean floor drops away quickly here, reaching
depths of five thousand feet in many places. The Atlantic wreckfish, the fishermen’s
target species, lives right along this deep shelf sharing the same habitat as the sixgill
shark. So if the guys do bring a sixgill up to the
surface today, we’re gonna try to fit it with this, this is a PSAT archival tag and
it’s programmed to record the shark’s depth changes after it returns to the depths. That way we’ll be able to see whether it
survived it’s trip to the surface and hopefully our release. You hold on to it, Choy. Sure. At three thousand dollars a tag, the archival
PSAT computer represents a significant financial investment. But this tag won’t just be used to acknowledge
the success or failure of a sixgill rescue, it will also reveal new and exciting movement
information of a species the team knows very little about. Now i’m going to insert this large PSAT
archival tag into the fish. Neil, and the crew have used these tags on
four other species, one was attached to a galapagos shark, to understand more about
their long-range migrations. So, now i’m going to plant the tube. Two of Bermuda’s spotted eagle rays also
had PSAT tags installed, and the team even managed to install one on a wahoo, and to
one of the most powerful predators in the Atlantic, the mighty blue marlin. This fish is gonna swim, man! His dorsal’s up. He’s gonna swim, I tell ya! Once deployed, the computer will record the
sixgill shark’s depth, the temperature of the water, and ambient light levels. This information is stored in the tag’s
memory and will upload to satellites when it pops off. So, I can see Bay Routes directly ahead of
us. We’ve got a big swell, so i’m gonna keep
the boat pointed into the wind as we get all our gear ready for a fairly critical transfer
onto Andrew’s boat.Choy. The team need to move lots of equipment to
attempt a rescue. What they don’t realise is the fishermen have
already started pulling up one of their deep set-lines. It’s not until Choy boards the boat, that
the crew finds out there may be a sixgill shark on the end of the line. We’ve gotta go look at it and we’ve gotta
get all our gear on, man. It’s gonna be a while, so just slow him
up. Whatever it is, it’s on its way up, and
the team need to be ready for it. Ok, they think that. Ok. The shark, the shark is, er, maybe eighty
feet down right now. Let’s get Drew in the water. Cameraman, Andy, on the boat here, he’s
gonna go boat to RIB to boat with a very expensive camera. So, it’s all going down now. We’ve got Drew jumping in the water. Fish is coming up. So, we’re gonna send him down, just to be
the first eyes on it, to actually see what is on the line and if it’s a big shark,
then, er, we’ll just make a game plan on the fly. Sixgill sharks have a nasty habit of rolling
when caught, sadly, each roll wraps the animal into more hooks and cable. It’s this scenario that the teams don’t
usually deal with. To work out the best way to handle the rescue,
Neil, and Kirkpatrick need to go down and assess what’s on the end of the line. Drew and I are really excited to see if we
can get overboard and see if we can do something to help this shark, if it is indeed a sixgill. So, we’re setting up our comms system here,
this links up to the comms mask that the guys have, that way when they’re at eighty feet,
or whatever depth they need to go to, then, er, we can, er, be communicating with them,
we can speak, and we can figure out exactly what needs to be done just to give us a couple
of extra minutes. And, um, yeah, so just gotta set it up, drop
it in the water. With the dive brief and safety checks complete,
Neil, and Kirkpatrick are ready to dive. Three, two, one, go! After a brief moment of disorientation, Neil,
and Kirkpatrick start their descent straight down. Now I can now tell you, that this is a large
shark, a large shark. This animal has been hauled from it’s home
over five thousand feet below the team. The wreckfish have long worked themselves
free. This is the sixgill shark the team are now
faced with saving. Ok. So you have a visual of a fish on the line,
but you are not sure what it is yet. This is, indeed, I suspect, a large sixgill,
a large sixgill shark. He has taken the second hook and there’s
several other hooks wrapped around him. This is probably a fish of over several hundred
pounds, six, or seven hundred pounds. We have multiple hooks wrapped over him. However, I believe we shall be able to disentangle
this fish, fairly easily, that is my hope. Coming up, Neil works to free some of the
hooks and line while deep in the ocean, then attempts to attach a tail rope to raise this
huge shark the final hundred feet to the surface. Deep rope, deep one out. Once at the side of the boat, the team will
work quickly to remove the final hooks and line before finally attaching the PSAT computer. A piece of technology that will reveal if
the team have successfully saved the life of this sixgill shark. So, I am filming, I am filming the hooks as
they are wrapped around the shark. I can see how they are wrapped, I have managed
to free one. The wire leader that is running through his
mouth has encircled the fish. He’s tenuously hooked with what appears
to be the third hook of the leader, the third hook of the leader. Ok, so now that we have identified it is actually
a sixgill, quite a large one, we’re gonna get our head rope out, our tail rope out,
and i’m gonna prepare the sling. These guys can be huge, fully grown, er, they
can be fourteen, fifteen, feet long and a thousand pounds. We don’t know how big it is yet, but we’re
gonna measure it. But, it’s a huge animal, so i’m just pulling
out all the stops as i’ve never dealt with one of these before. This is the situation. The fish has got a hook caught in the corner
of it’s mouth, but, the, the thing that’s bringing him up is the entanglement. I’m keen that we don’t get him up to the
surface and then have him pop that hook and roll around further and get more of a mess. Get more entangled. And we don’t have his head controlled. Right. I think if we at least get his tail controlled
from the outset, I can go put a tail rope on him now. Right. And then we’ll have his tail roped as you
get him up. Right. So I’m thinking i’m gonna put my dive
gear back on and put a tail rope on him with a large buoy. Alright. That will hold him. If we get him to within ten feet of the surface,
I can simply dive down and snag that rope. Alright. The team prepare for the procedure and head
back out to the shark as quickly as possible! It’s now been just over seven minutes since
the team started the rescue. Every minute that passes reduces the chances
of a successful release. The decision to attach the tail rope underwater
is not just to prevent the animal further wrapping in the lines, but crucially to reduce
the time the shark spends at the side of the boat. Neil, manages to secure the rope on the tail
and indicates to the surface with several sharp tugs. The shark is now semi-secured, preventing
any further rolling in the fishing lines. Tail rope is on! The large orange float helps lift the shark’s
tail up and away from the fishing line. As this happens, the fishing wraps on the
shark tighten and force the animal to reverse it’s original role, further freeing the
shark. So, as you can see the shark is now held with
the tail rope, it’s started to unwrap, and is now ready to be lifted up. I’m really excited! This is a big female sixgill shark, the first
i’ve ever seen, and I believe that we’ll be able to gonna get a tag in her, and check
her survival without a lot of undue distress and trauma to this fish. Ok, let me get off the bow. Next, the team work together to secure this
massive sixgill to the side of the boat, a position that will allow the final untangle
and tagging procedure. Wow! Oh my gosh! That is like a dinosaur on the end of the
line! Alright, so we’ve got our tail rope here. What i’ll do. Actually, excellent! They’re very sluggish, which is what we
heard, but this is fantastic. She’s got, er, no way near the fight of
a large tiger shark, which is good. But she’s rolling a little bit, so she still
looks in, er, good condition to me. A few little bumps and bruises, but nothing
serious. So i’m just gonna tie off her tail, right
here, and then once she’s tied on we’ll get this thing, oh my god! Look at the green eyes! It’s like a goblin! The team brace the shark using the same sling
as they used whilst working with the tiger sharks. Together with the tail rope this holds the
animal in place so Neil and Choy can start to remove the final hooks and line. So now I have the hook attached to it, i’m
gonna cut these away. And then we can get the deep rope, deep one
out. Yeah. Neil has cut the last hook away from the commercial
fishing line and attached it to a rope leader to control the head of the shark. This is a much bigger animal than any of the
tiger sharks we deal with, but luckily they don’t seem to put up as, er, bad of a fight. Look at the glowing green eyes! That thing is incredible!These guys have come
from a deep, dark, cold environment, basically it’s devoid of light, hence the large green
eyes. He’s down, usually, there anywhere from
a thousand, to maybe five thousand feet deep.These guys have been around for so long they actually
predate flowers on Planet Earth, this is a true living fossil, right here. Sixgill sharks are considered the oldest of
all modern sharks, dating back some one hundred and ninety million years! They were around during the early Jurassic
period and have had the benefit of an unimaginable time period to evolve into the animal Neil
and Choy are fighting to rescue. Alright, so with the shark secure we’re
gonna go for our DNA sample, so i’ve got my scissors here. Neil’s just gonna take a clip off the dorsal
fin, which you can see is really far back on these guys. Thanks, Choy. Bumpy conditions to work in, huh? There we go. Oh, sweet! So this DNA is gonna go to, Mahmood Shivji,
at Nova Southeastern University, to contribute to his massive database of sharks taken from
all around the world. Yeah, I think he’s gonna be happy as this
is a brand new species from Bermuda. Ok, we’re gonna take a measurement now on
this animal. I’m gonna guess, you know, twelve or thirteen
feet maybe, these guys are very long, and lean. So, Choy! Be aware, his head is free,
Yeah. because the hook came out. So i’m gonna be trying to hold this. Sure.
and i’m gonna measure back. Don’t pull it tight until i’m back here. I’m gonna measure the first third of the
fish and then we’ll measure the second two thirds, ok? Ok, yeah, that works better, yeah, cos I was
gonna say the measurement might end up being approximate cos of the way this guy wiggles. Neil shows an astonishing amount of confidence
working around this massive shark! He’s so focused on the job in hand that
he is oblivious to the fact that this massive predator has it’s jaws wide open, inches
from his head! He’s happy to put his life on the line while
they collect the data and work to free this sixgill shark. So, we’re gonna take her tail length to
add to that eleven feet. Yeah, I can see it. It’s, er, three foot two on the tail length. Three foot two, plus eleven. Fourteen foot two, inch, sixgill shark! That. Let’s do her girth. That is a monstrous animal. Fifty nine inch girth! Fifty nine inch, just shy of five. Wow! Just, just shy of five feet around her tummy. That’s a big girl! So, we’ve got our, er, DNA clip. We’ve done our measurements, we know what
that are. We know it’s a female. So the last thing to do is to stick the, er,
tag in, and then, er, we can release her, and, er, hopefully she swims off happy. Ok, here’s the scalpel. Thank you. Gentle. I’m gonna make a little cut in the skin,
just big enough to enter the tag, and then we’re gonna place it into the tissues beneath
the skin. This skin is very tough, it’s like trying
to cut sandpaper, and with this action of the waves, i’m just trying to avoid slicing
my finger. Alright. That should be big enough. Yep, yep. Alright, now you may need. Yeah, we’re gonna have to drive. It’s quite a tough drive. Drive this with some force. That’s it! It’s in. It’s planted. Well done! So, the archival tag is firmly planted in
her skin and should survive for the four months that we’re gonna record data from this shark. Now it’s merely a question of releasing
her. I’m gonna put my dive gear on so that I
can make sure this shark swims away. So, this has been so exciting! And now we’ve got this big female sixgill. And i’m gonna release her. And I’m really keen to see that she swims
away. Ok, so, Neil’s in position. I’m in position. We’re ready to drop the ropes, so we’re
all set to have this girl swim away. Ok, guys! Excellent! Ugh! That is a lot of, er, shark! Neil carefully moves the shark through the
water to oxygenate it’s massive body. A journey close to one mile, straight down,
lay ahead of this incredible prehistoric creature. With the tag firmly in place, the Ocean Vet
team, can now establish if the shark makes it back to the ocean floor and indeed survives. The shark eventually finds it’s fins and
starts to power down into the deep. As it passes through sixty feet of water,
it starts to pull away. Neil is left watching as the animal the team
have worked so hard to rescue successfully swims down and out of sight. That was absolutely phenomenal! That shark swam a circle. I was holding onto her. I could feel her start to kick underneath
me. She swam back, as if to look at the boat,
swam under the keel, I thought ‘is she gonna hit the rudder?’ No! Straight down. And we followed her down, probably, to about
eighty five, ninety, maybe even ninety feet down. And she was just going like a freight train,
swimming and kicking back down into the abyss from where she came. It was phenomenal! Great job everybody, Ocean Vet team! Really well done. Just spectacular job, man. And, Dylan! Good job, man! Love it! Best job in the world! The data from the PSAT tag did eventually
reveal the shark’s successful journey back to it’s home, some five thousand feet down. It tracked the shark’s regular movements
over the following four months and served to prove, that although at great cost and
effort, it is worth trying to rescue these incredible animals! A little disappointingly you didn’t get any
wreckfish, but. Since the filming of this project, the Ocean
Vet team have spoken with other local commercial fishermen and standby to assist as they continue
to save, protect, rescue, and learn more about the incredible marine life in Bermuda’s
beautiful ocean. Next time on Ocean Vet, Neil, and his team
witness the deep spawning aggregations of Bermuda’s famous black grouper. So now we’re into our oxygenated bath, we’re
gonna turn him right ways up. They’re on a mission to test new tagging
methods, both on the sea floor, in mid water, and at the surface. Their goal is to map the population dynamic
of this important commercial species, helping the Department of Fisheries with their mission
to ensure the survival of a key Bermuda fishery.

17 comments on “Prehistoric Sixgill Shark | Ocean Vet | S01 E06 | Free Documentary

  1. Why doesn't he go to Hawaii or Puerto Rico to undo the damage wrought by Monsanto/Bayer runoff? Plenty of tumors there.

  2. i am fascinated with sharks off the coast of California i had the opportunity to swim with a 15 foot Great white shark in open water. and a Whale shark and a basking shark it was an interesting experience swimming with the Great white i was scared exited and nervous at the same time i was shocked to see the dorsal fin missing more then half of it my only guess is maybe its dorsal fin was cut off and most of its left fin was also cut off even with the fins missing it was quite agile i don't know how old it was.

  3. THE "TOP 5s " channel has something on the 6 gill shark, but filmed at the bottom of ocean ! Titel : "5 mysterious sea creatures" It woth seeing after this video , the shark they filmed looks like a 40+ ft. version of this one !!

  4. Just a thought… It just seems to me that rescuing sharks would be laudable if there were absolutely no other problems in this world.

  5. Dr Neil died in Nov 11th 2014.

    " Dr Neil Burnie was well known for his research on marine species and was the host of a show called Ocean Vet which was being considered by several TV networks.

    He died last Tuesday after getting into difficulties while diving at Horseshoe Bay Beach shortly after 11am.

    It is understood that Dr Burnie was attempting to retrieve a lobster pot. When he failed to return to the surface, a diver went down and found him unconscious at the bottom.

    The sixty-year-old was taken by ambulance to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly before noon, according to local paper, The Royal Gazette.

    Dr Burnie, from Liverpool, had moved to Bermuda more than 20 years ago and was employed as a government veterinarian before working for Endsmeet Animal Hospital as a senior partner. "

    Very sad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *