Video footage of “Junior,” the great white shark who was captured, tagged, and released as part of Dr. Michael Domeier’s SPOT tagging research at the Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary, has recently been released. “Junior” was tagged on October 29, 2009 and during the process was hooked in the throat. The top portion of the hook was removed, but “most of the hook was left in the shark” according to an article on the Farallones website.
Cropped stills from the video above comparing footage of “Junior” from 2009 to footage from 2010, which showed a massive injury behind the white shark’s jaw, generated some controversy after some opponents to the catch and release tagging methods suggested the injury could be a result of the hooking incident. Others, including Dr. Doemeir, contended that the injuries seen in the 2010 still were the result of white shark bites.
With the release of the actual video footage, it appears that “Junior” had sustained multiple injuries that are consistent with white shark bites, which were not readily visible in the cropped still. For a more in-depth analysis of the video check out David Shiffman’s post at Southern Fried Science (and give the comments to his post a read, as they are definitely worth a read, if you’re interested in this particular story).