Thousands Crowd to See Web-Streamed Shark Autopsy in New Zealand


A public autopsy of a Great White Shark that was streamed live over the internet attracted 4,000 people to the Auckland Museum where the open-air autopsy was performed, and attracted more than 30,000 people on the internet, the museum reports: “The event – the first of its kind for the Museum – [was] organised to raise awareness of the threats facing the Great White species.”

The New Zealand Department of Conservation collaborated on the event.

According to the Times: “The shark was found dead by local fisherman Duan Russell after it had become entangled in a gill net while sniffing around a school of trevally in Kaipara Harbour on Monday last week. Mr Russell and his 11-year-old son Kurt were there to watch as the great white was cut open on Thursday…The shark, which was lifted onto the display table by a forklift, was dissected by Auckland Museum marine specialist Tom Trnski and Clinton Duffy, a shark expert from the New Zealand Department of Conservation. As he cut open the blood-covered creature Mr Duffy told the crowd: ‘She looks a bit gruesome really, she’s not really at her best…they are beautiful creatures in the wild.’ While they didn’t find any seals or penguins in the shark’s stomach, it was revealed that the adolescent female had at some point chomped on a fishing hook with its line still attached, which the scientists discovered inside her stomach.”

You can watch the web archive here.

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Posted January 8, 2009 at 8:40am ETC by Andy Towle
in Nature, New Zealand, News