Text by Ryan Bradley
Photograph by Joshua Scott
Threatened by drift nets and habitat destruction, fish need all the friends they can get. A consortium of marine biologists has decided that to know the fiercest and fastest creatures in the sea is to love them. à la MySpace and Facebook, TOPP.org (Tagging of Pacific Predators) is an interactive website that posts personal pages—with names, stats, even blogs—for radio-tagged animals being tracked by TOPP’s field researchers.
Omoo, for example, is a great white shark currently swimming off Honolulu. Dislikes: aquariums. Mood: unfairly judged by his looks. The site’s most compelling feature is a satellite display that lets visitors pinpoint their finned friends’ locations around the globe. Can personifying pelagics make us rethink our next sushi dinner? The scientists at TOPP hope so. And somewhere off the coast of Hawaii, a misunderstood, doe-eyed killing machine named Omoo does too.
- Nat Geo Expeditions