In Art Of Coaching Podcast

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If you want to clarify your message, find your niche, create meaningful work and use it to help more people – this digital toolkit will be an absolute GAME. CHANGER. 


On today’s episode you’ll learn how to catch a 4,000 lb great white shark. 

But if that’s what you take from this episode, you missed the point. 

On the surface (pun intended), today’s conversation might seem drastically different from ones we typically have on this show. But if you look deeper you’ll see the overwhelming number of similarities between the work of Chris Fischer, OCEARCH and what we do with communication, leadership and coaching. 

A full-time explorer, Chris Fischer has a special gift of seeing the “big picture,” creating solutions around that picture, and communicating that picture in an accessible way to others. Chris has led 39 global expeditions focused on accelerating the ocean’s return to balance and abundance, by unlocking the life history puzzle of white sharks and other keystone species through expeditions aboard the OCEARCH. 

His approach completely disrupts the research and policy process by making data collection and distribution collaborative, inclusive and open-sourced. This data-centric approach has inspired global ocean environmental protection policies, with Chris working alongside Presidents of several countries, including the U.S.

We discuss: 

  1. How to productively disrupt a well established industry 
  2. Navigating learned helplessness in sharks and people
  3. Using storytelling to ethically sell your mission 
  4. Why communication is to coaching as oceans are to sharks 

Connect with Chris:


Via LinkedIn:

One thing while you’re still here… Chris and I talk extensively about the lack of effective communication in highly technical and science-driven fields. If you find yourself in one of these environments and want to practice better storytelling/communication so you can connect the people you serve to the work you do, let us help! 

We offer 1 on 1 online communication training! Click the link below to find out more:


Chris Fischer  0:01  

I’m a big First Things First guy. If we don’t, if the ocean system is not working, we’re all dead. Sure, it doesn’t matter what we do on land, it’s two thirds of our air 100% of our water, and about half the people every day count on protein from the ocean. And so if the ocean system fails, this is one of the things I think is so interesting when you look at all research, and all these kinds of nonprofits and all these various activities, when you look at like Earth System Management, because we don’t have like an Earth Council, which is like the dumbest thing of all time, like we’re on the no plan plan for the planet. But so but anyway, at least if you’re going to try to affect something if the planet is going to exist, we must save the ocean first. 


Brett Bartholomew  0:46  

Yeah, 100% 


Chris Fischer  0:47  

Because if we lose the ocean, we’re all dead on land no matter what we do.


Brett Bartholomew  0:51  

Yeah, it’s in arguable.


Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom, and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior, and communication. I want to thank you for joining me. And now let’s dive into today’s episode.


Blind Spots, we all have them, they’re a part of life. They’re inescapable. No matter what we do, no matter how educated we are, you’re going to have a blind spot. Now what is a blind spot, it’s that unseen thing, just outside of your periphery, that can be your undoing, if you don’t recognize it. Now, here’s the irony. A blind spot can also lead to a newfound awareness, that becomes your greatest strength. I mean, guys, think of it as unconscious competence. Think of it as a lesson we haven’t learned yet. And we’ll be wiser. Once we have, we have created a course that helps you discover your blind spots, so you’re never caught unprepared, and also leverage them. So some of your greatest strengths, even the things that you think are so simple that nobody else would value them, you can leverage them to do more good, help more people. And you can learn more about it at, it is my latest course. It is all self paced. And it is for anybody who wants to find their niche, really hone in on their focus, help more people and actually get paid to do work they love. None of this stuff is gimmicky. It’s all very, very tactical. And this is something I’ve worked on for a very long time. And we get tons of people that reach out and say, Hey, I you know, I love what I’m doing. But I feel like I could be doing more or I’m not sure I’m on the right path. Or, you know, there’s a lot of paralysis by analysis. And I doubt myself or I overthink, if any of that describes you, or even if you’re just somebody that maybe you have a great career, but you’re looking to expand what you do a little bit. Maybe you want to write a book, maybe you want to create a podcast, maybe you want to just do anything that allows you to provide more value to more people. This is for you. So again, I highly encourage you guys check it out This is where you want to be. 


All right. Today, we have a fascinating interview. A friend of mine who’s been on the show before Carl coward told me about this mythical creature, this gentleman named Chris Fischer, who is a modern day Jacques Cousteau. And guys, if you don’t know who Jacques Cousteau is, look it up. But this is somebody that really revolutionize exploration, especially within the oceans. And Chris is not only taking from his example, but Chris has completely completely surpass many of the things Cousteau was able to do. I mean that respectfully, and so does Chris, an explorer and a disrupter. Chris has led 39 global expeditions focused on accelerating the oceans return to balance and abundance. Specifically, guys by unlocking the life history of white sharks, you are talking about a guy who has is being able to lead research on the bloodwork migration patterns, behavior, all these things that give more insight into the genetic status, diet, all these pieces about great sharks and really how critical they are to the ecosystem. His company Ocearch connects the practical aspects. Let’s look at expert fishermen, for example, with the academic side researchers, and by creating this multidisciplinary model, oh search is able to gather world leading information about everything regarding white sharks and more ocean creatures and to hear about He’s expeditions is eye opening. I mean, no matter what field you’re in, you understand that all of us have professions where there’s a tremendous amount of nuance. The work is always bigger than most people see, right when anytime I train athletes, people think it’s about the workout and oh, is it the kettlebells? Or the dumbbells? It’s so much deeper than that. If you’re a comedian, people think it’s just about the writing of jokes. No, it’s so much deeper than that. If you’re an educator, people think, Oh, well, what are you gonna make the students memorize today? No, it’s so much deeper than that. And nothing could be more true for what Chris does. We’re going to talk about his family history, how his father, being an entrepreneur, you know, led him to really not only being able to get into a profession where he could give more, but where he could go into a field where so much data so much unique nuance had to be siphoned through so that it could break through and make sense to a larger audience. Because let’s be real guys, your information goes nowhere. Without an audience, he’s going to talk about how they tag sharks, the behavior of the sharks, how you can track them in real time, the nature of bringing open source information, I could keep going on and on and on. But you have to hear this episode for yourself. It’s one thing to hear from coaches and leaders and entrepreneurs. It’s another thing to hear from a guy that gets out there and goes all around the world, tagging studying sharks for a living and seeing them do things that nobody else has ever seen them do before. I know I’m rambling. We just got off the interview. I was super excited about it. So I apologize. Without further ado, Chris Fischer of Ocearch dive right in 


Chris Fischer, welcome to the show.


Chris Fischer  6:39  

Thanks for having me. Great to be here.


Brett Bartholomew  6:41  

Yeah. Likewise, you know, I always think that conversations like this are fun, because this is really the second time you and I have talked, introduced by a good friend. And there’s no staging, there’s no, hey, we have this script behind the scenes, we’re getting to know one another as the audience is getting to know you. So I appreciate you taking the time. 


Chris Fischer  7:00  

Happy to be here, man. 


Brett Bartholomew  7:02  

So first off, I have to say this, and this is just because our audience we have a fair share of nerds here. I was on a podcast recently as a guest, and somebody said, Hey, give me three apps. Right. And you know, usually people want productivity apps, they want something else at all, what’s a hack? And I told him your app. I said, Ocearch, and I’m not lying. I have the app. And because I think it’s fascinating. I grew up fascinated with sharks, tornadoes, and sharks were a huge thing in mind growing up, I also wanted to be an assassin. I don’t know about that. But the person was taken aback and they go timeout, what is this app? And I go, Yeah, man, like, this guy’s like modern day Jacques Cousteau. He goes around, he tag sharks very data driven. You can look and see what great whites and more all around the world. I’d love for you to give our audience a little bit more context as to the nature of Ocearch, and the mission that you’re on before we dive in, if you wouldn’t mind.


Chris Fischer  7:54  

Sure, ya know, the app was a big breakthrough. And you know, we started this journey, I guess, just stay in the shark space. We started working on the water a little over 20 years ago, and kids started seeing that, you know, our best scientists and our best Waterman professional Waterman weren’t working together. So we didn’t have the best information, we needed to make sure we could leave the ocean full of fish for our kids. Really just make sure they can eat a fish sandwich. And so I started to see that and you know, just to distill it down and started helping scientists in around 2005 or six, they all started complaining about sharks being sharks. Like, man, we’re down to 9% of our large sharks. And then I was like, Okay, well, whatever. You know, we were helping scientists study Bill fish, tuna, other things like that. I didn’t study any of this. I grew up in Kentucky chasing fish and frogs around the world and you know, studied entrepreneurship at IU and the National University of Singapore. It’s Indiana University. And who has finally has a football team. believable? 


Brett Bartholomew  8:57  

Yeah, they do. They’re coming out of nowhere. What is this their best season? I think since the 1960s, roughly the first time. 


Chris Fischer  9:02  

I mean, I was there from 87 to 91. And it was brutal.


Brett Bartholomew  9:07  

That’s why I’m living as a Husker fan. Now our will our fortunes are reversed.


Chris Fischer  9:11  

Exactly. And so they started saying things like Man, if we don’t fix the shark’s situation, there’s not going to be any food for our grandkids. And I was like, Whoa, and how does that work? And it’s pretty it makes a lot of sense. You know, the top of the food chain you can’t manage the system if you can’t manage the top of the food chain and really like to break it down into practical matters things like seals up north if the white sharks are present, the seals eat 1/4 as much each day. So if the white sharks aren’t there, they go out and they wipe out the cod and the salmon the lobster everything and you know down south and other areas they put a lot of pressure on the squid so every night when they come to the surface, they don’t eat all the fry all the baby fish we need to grow up baby tuna baby mommy, all that stuff. I said, Well, certainly someone studying I’m like we’re helping you with These things you know where they made where they give birth, how they move around. Let’s help them come back. Look after the nursery said they’re so big we’ve never been able to study and we don’t know. And mom was just stunned. I was like you just said no big sharks, no fish sandwiches, right? No, no.


Brett Bartholomew  10:18  

Yeah, I remember I don’t want to cut into your story here. But I remember my wife and I went to South Africa for our honeymoon. And I remember we had a guide because we did the whole, you know, Cage shark cage thing and what have you. And they had told us and I think you’re the aficionado here even though like you said, Ocearches about the bigger ocean ecosystem as a whole not just sharks. But they had said at the time that nobody had actually seen or at least gotten footage of to Great Whites meeting yet. I know you for a fact. You’ve drawn blood from Great Whites. You’ve collected sperm samples from Great Whites are you are were you guys the first to do that, by the way. Just fact check me there. 


Chris Fischer  10:51  

Yeah. Yeah. From a living great white shark. Yeah.


Brett Bartholomew  10:54  

Right. So like, I’ve trained mixed martial artists and boxers who, you know, they draw blood in a way for a living, you can actually go around and say, Hey, I’m the first guy to ever draw blood from a Great White and I know that’s tongue in cheek there. But is that true that nobody’s really caught footage of Great Whites mating as well? 


Chris Fischer  11:09  

Or is that true. Well, first, you have to know where to look. Right? Yeah. And you know, it’s gonna be these things are so stealthy. I think what most people don’t understand about white sharks, they’re the most nervous thing in the ocean. Like, we’re out there and we see one, we’re trying to get one to come in, we won’t even take a step on the deck of the boat. Really, because I feel like if he just moves, they’re just gone. They’re so nervous. You got to think of them like a lion or a wolf, you know, and so, you know, they’re super stealthy, they’re invisible. Think about the 4000 pound sharks we’ve had tagged all over the world, even right here on the East Coast of the United States. And these animals are swimming right up and down the beaches in and out of the estuaries. We’ve all been sweating with white sharks our whole lives. If you live on the east coast of the United States, nothing’s changed. We just know now. And, no one has ever seen them. Like, can you imagine a 4000 pound female like Mary Lee cruising up and down the East Coast for five years, no one ever saw her. She was in and out of the beaches and estuaries all the time. So they’re invisible. So you’re not going to see two white sharks mating unless it’s the you know, once in a million lifetimes, right? But you can capture them get blood samples from them test the estrogen in the females, the testosterone and the males get sperm samples from the males see if the sperm are mature and Mo tile, and you can find the mating site without witnessing them mate. And then maybe if you do zero and on that you spend some time in that area, maybe you can, you know, get lucky.


Brett Bartholomew  12:42  

And that to me is what’s crazy. I mean, and you alluded to it earlier, Chris, you grew up in Kentucky, I think if I remember correctly, you’re your father was a serial entrepreneur. You did Meals on Wheels growing up family was all about passion. Serving bigger mission. And that’s really kind of what led to this right? Like it was before it was the data and the fascination of this and that it was it was an element of service that kind of drew you to this and saying, Hey, and I love how you say this. In one of your talks. You talked about what’s the biggest room in the world, the room for improvement. But then you think about you extrapolate this into ecosystems. I mean, oceans rule everything is but is that kind of an I know that’s grossly oversimplified. But is that kind of the path that got you on here? This solving problems? The service based thing, the bigger picture is that what was the impetus here? In a lot of ways?


Chris Fischer  13:30  

Yeah, there’s no question. It was my parents, amazing parents, right. And we started a business together when we were all really young. And then that was sold when I was 29. And I was living out west and I’ve been commuting to Asia for work for a number of years. And I came home, I was 29. And it was sold. And I needed to go back to work. But I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So you know, being that kid, it just grew up and farm ponds and creeks in Kentucky. I started spending time on the ocean off California. And then just saw people were disconnected from the ocean. And I was like, you know, what is the deal? Why are people so disconnected? Why do I feel so connected? thought back to my childhood and thought a Cousteau. I mean, you know, the sad thing is, is most people under the age of 40 or 45, don’t even know who Cousteau was. Yeah, speaking, you know, and I’m 52. And I mean, and he was like a centerpiece of pouring the ocean into the world.


Brett Bartholomew  14:26  

And it is tricky. I mean, like, I went back, I remember when our mutual friend Carl referenced him, of course, I’ve heard the name a million times or what have you. But it got me fascinated into the bigger picture of what he did as well because you hear about these things in kind of mainstream culture, how we kind of present their image, but when you really learn about, you know, the underpinning, like what their start was, what they struggled with how they approach these problems. That’s when you really get to a true feel for the person and the the actual work as opposed to the outcome and the accolades. Right,


Chris Fischer  14:58  

right. Yeah, on He was you know, he invented the aqualung and scuba diving. Very clever to that he was just a master storyteller pouring the world’s oceans into people’s lives and for the first time like the undersea world because of the development of scuba that he was developing. And guys really smart too clever business guy, right? Like I mean, if you’ve developed the Aqua lung and scuba equipment, and you have an engineering company, and then you’re this amazing storyteller, inspiring people to go look at the undersea world. They have to buy your scuba gear. He was way ahead of his time on many levels.


Brett Bartholomew  15:37  

Oh, 100%. And just for our listeners that might not be familiar. Can you give a brief description of the Aqua lung and kind of context of that?


Chris Fischer  15:44  

Well, the Aqua lung is what became scuba diving equipment, you know, and it was developed by Cousteau in the military and a lot over there. And he then develop some of the first underwater cameras. And then he developed a series the undersea world of Jacques Cousteau, which was a worldwide phenomenon, master storyteller, beautiful cinematography, and you know, he led 22 expeditions around the world, you know, so when I was, you know, looking at what was I going to do with my life? I was kind of like, why are people so disconnected? How are we going to save the ocean if people aren’t even plugged into the ocean? And I was young enough and dumb enough, I was 29. At the time that I was like, you know that I set a noble goal. I’m gonna pour the world’s oceans into people’s lives at scale and seen since Cousteau.


Brett Bartholomew  16:30  

And how many expeditions have you done now? 


Chris Fischer  16:33  



Brett Bartholomew  16:34  


Chris Fischer  16:35  



Brett Bartholomew  16:36  

incredible. And like how? And again, forgive my ignorance. But when you plan these things out, obviously, there’s seasonal considerations. There’s the migration patterns of whatever animal you might be researching at the time. There’s so many different things, obviously, the people like your crew, can you walk me through? And again, I want to be conscious of you’re probably like, oh, man, but walk me through what goes into just the detail and the planning and the consideration of getting these expeditions together.


Chris Fischer  17:05  

Yeah. And I think that’s very cool. How many people ever asked me that question? We, might be the first time we do 325 Day expeditions a year. And so what we’re doing is the hardest tag, when you move into a region, anytime you move into a region is the first tag, because you don’t really know have any data on where the sharks are. Right? But you know, they’ve been seeing them. So we started in 2012, going up to Massachusetts, because people were seeing some sharks off Cape Cod. And then we got a couple tags out in 2012. And then those sharks we watched them for we tag five females in those two years. And then we watched them for a few years, we went around the world, we went to, you know, Brazil, and Chile, and Ecuador and Australia and came back and watched those five sharks for three years. Now we have all this data on where they’ve been, we’re seeing their full migratory loop. Now we can drill down into that and see like, Okay, where are they in these tracks, where they’re kind of just on their own? And they’re on the move spread out? Or where might they be gathered together where they have a little bit more predictable access, right? That is the holy grail for science, what they call predictable access, if you’re gonna go out on a $750,000 boat ride, and you’re taking a bunch of scientists, you want to try to get yourself the most predictable access possible. So the all the money is not just for naught,


Brett Bartholomew  18:34  

right. Yeah. They don’t care about that. In tourism. I can tell you that when we went in the shark cage, you’re like, Ah, you might not see him. But here’s some sandwiches.


Chris Fischer  18:41  

Yeah, right. Yeah. That Yeah. So anyway, when they look at the track, and so what we’re seeing with these white sharks is they have this late summer and fall aggregations up north in like the northeastern United States, and also Atlantic Canada, which we discovered a couple of years ago, is much more prolific and full of white sharks than we thought Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, that hole. And so in the late summer and fall, they move up there from the southeastern United States, and they’re feeding and they’re feeding on seals. So they tend to kind of gather tighter together in front of seal colonies up there. So you have more predictable access versus in the wintertime, when they slide down off the southeastern United States. They’re spread out between, you know, the Gulf of Mexico and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina onshore offshore, moving around from event to event, pretty tough to get on there. So we look for that predictable access, which so we do one expedition off the southeastern United States here and then one off of the Northeast us and one off Atlantic Canada each year until we’re finished with this Atlantic white shark puzzle. We’re solving the life history puzzle of jaws.


Brett Bartholomew  19:47  

Yeah, right. That’s their approach. appreciate how you consolidate these things. You can tell you can always tell somebody that’s been a part of a bigger mission where they’re a craftsman that’s had to sell their story to Do you know a broader audience and I mean, sell in an ethical way, because they know how to wrap it in succinct messaging, right? Like, it’s your value proposition. And it’s tremendously hard. But you’ve done it a number of ways. Now, even just on this call, and I appreciate it, because My business is all about communication, hey, we want we want our grandkids eat a fish sandwich, right? Like, we were the story of Jaws, all these things. And I want to ask you about that. I don’t mean to interrupt, so please finish that if I am. But when you want to make a difference, there’s this inevitable tension between the people that are out there doing the thing, right, the people funding it, the people that have this science, and we see it even in the sports performance realm. You know, medical personnel doesn’t always like strength coaches, strength coaches don’t always like sport scientists, sports scientists, and the head coach, there’s always agendas. And it’s funny because people have this sense of localism, Chris, in sports performance, where they’re like, this doesn’t happen in any other field. Oh, actually, it happens in every damn field, I’d have to imagine that this form of storytelling, this form of communication, has had to be pretty helpful in terms of you overcoming the egos, agendas and biases of all these other interconnected pieces. Am I correct? Or is that? Is it not like that in your round?


Chris Fischer  21:11  

Well, I think it has been for surviving and bringing the world into the ocean science space, particularly here. And because you know, there’s been a lot of obstacles along the way. And like you said, there’s all you know, within our own team, I overcome all these obstacles and agendas by just making sure we get everybody on a common vision. Right, if we gotta get on a common vision, with somewhat of a selfless disposition, right, you know, ocean first, great grandchildren first. So I get people from two different communities bickering, which really doesn’t happen inside Osearch anymore. But then you know, what happens outside of Ocearch? And the reason why things like oh, search happening existed in the past is because, you know, the scientist thinks the fisherman is dumb. The fisherman thinks the scientist is arrogant. Meanwhile, the scientists have no boats, no money and can’t catch what they study. You know, the fisherman can catch them all day long. But you can’t change the future the ocean on a fisherman story, you need this peer review published paper. So we don’t have our practical and our academic colliding at a high level to make sure that we have the data required to be proud of the ocean, we deliver our kids. So I’m like, God, it’s really like two sandwiches. Would you like your grandkid to eat a fish sandwich? Everybody in the room raises their hand. All right, then knock all the silly bullshit off man.


Brett Bartholomew  22:32  

Or there’s that one guy that just wants to play okie dickhead that says no, I don’t eat fish anyway. And it’s like, okay.


Chris Fischer  22:38  

Okay, you can exit the room now. Or you can just be quiet. And look, you’re always welcome to come back. If you figure it out a little later, if we’re moving too fast for you, you know, when you do see it, come on back. And we will give you a big kiss on the cheek. And you’re always welcome. Right? So that has been the biggest thing. And that has been so normal and Ocearch now, you know, we started in 2007. And it was, you know, we started because the scientists asked us for help. And then when we started to succeed, the science is some of them tried to stop us because we were learning too fast. And you know, they didn’t want us to move into a region and till like after they retired to demonstrate that the last 30 years they’d spent $30 million and hadn’t made much progress. operating in an individual silo


Brett Bartholomew  23:25  

Yeah. And I’d have to imagine I mean, when you operate as fast as you guys, did, you show them that they might be pointed at the wrong direction with some of that research too. And that’s not who’s right who’s wrong. That’s just that’s the nature of experimentation, right?


Chris Fischer  23:38  

Well, or they just didn’t want to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team around more capacity, they’d rather restrict the capacity and the advancement, own and hoard the space, monetize it for themselves, until they retire, and then anybody can come in. But for the next 20 or 30 years, only I can work here. And even though I’m inefficient, not really getting much done, and the future abundance of the ocean counts on it doesn’t matter. You know, I’m on my own individual right here. And you can’t bring that big collaborative team in here with all that capacity and expertise, and solve what I haven’t been able to do in 50 years and seven until after I’m gone. And they call they use words like professional etiquette.


Brett Bartholomew  24:22  

That’s what I was gonna say it doesn’t get scary sometimes when you see people like that and again, they exist in every field to a degree What scares me is sometimes people will use an altruistic or virtuous to kind of, oh, well, if what I’m doing is in the name of science, or well, we’re not trying to be famous or popular. We do the behind. They almost try to promote what they’re doing as a greater good when in reality, it’s a manipulation of control. Sometimes you can get it’s that dark side of that stuff, right? We all get a hopefully everybody gets into something they do because they actually want to make an impact. Of course, there’s always outliers. But what always scares me when some But he closes off or they create barriers or as you alluded to silos, and then they put this fancy sticker on it of like, hey, but it’s for a good reason, trust me, it’s for a greater good. It’s like, yeah, the greater good of what your ego or like what’s going on here. 


Chris Fischer  25:12  

And I got to a lot of these people, it’s the system shape the people. So when I started to see it what was going on in the ocean space was we have to disrupt the whole approach to ocean research, because these individual silos, and that’s why we have a data deficit and time problem. That’s why we can’t manage everyone’s working on their own. They can’t develop any capacity. We’re not bringing big collaborative, multidisciplinary teams at a high level together. And the people get shaped by the system, right? And then the whole concept of publish or perish. right. He or she who publishes first gets the next grant. So why would I collaborate, help someone else publish, I got to do it all on my own? Well, as we know, you know, a solid team will outperform an individual 1000 fold anytime, right? And so a lot of it is the system. But it’s, the journey was interesting, when the sciences ask us for help, and we prove we could do it, and we exploded the efficiency and rate of learning and then they started trying to undermine like, Wait, well, well, you can’t do that. Because that’s, you’ve only been around 10 years, you’ve published 60, peer reviewed papers, and you get another 40 Come in. And there’s kind of like, too efficient, bro.


Brett Bartholomew  26:20  

So what do you what did you do then? And I mean, how, like, I always find a counter,


Chris Fischer  26:24  

join the team, or we’re just going to do our thing. We’ve got no time for that.


Brett Bartholomew  26:29  

Yeah. And the reason I bring that up is because we have a wide variety of listeners that reach out with those kinds of questions. Have they meet stubborn or stagnant people or power brokers in their own domain? Right? And we talked about all these ways that you can influence attitudes, change behaviors, beliefs, what have you, but sometimes you just got to push ahead, right? Sometimes you got it like you did. You just gotta realize, hey, we have a sound mission, a clear mission. We have a good team, we’re doing things ethically, we’re gonna keep going here


Chris Fischer  26:54  

and provided if you don’t want to come no problem. 


Brett Bartholomew  26:57  

Yeah. So you had mentioned, getting back to some of the logistics of the expedition. And I’m sure this varies. So I’m not looking necessarily for a static answer. But how many people will generally if you’re going on an expedition, and about a month, how many people would be on that boat with you?


Chris Fischer  27:14  

So we’ve already planned our expeditions for next year? Right, you know, so we zero in on the areas like I was talking about based on the data, and then we start looking at things like the moon phase, because we want to be out there doing the right moon phase. Because, you know, sometimes they’re more accessible than others. The moon affects everything. And then when we had on Expedition, there’s 20 to 22 people on the ship.


Brett Bartholomew  27:37  

Okay. That’s so funny. You know, when you describe the moon phase, that makes perfect sense. Yeah, that’s, if you were to say, well, let’s have a conversation. But guess the 10 things that we need to consider, right? I’m gonna consider the size of the ship, the amount of people their domain, the equipment, you may need to bring, of course, seasonal influences and what the oceans doing, moon phase you know, and, but the unseen details will get you there. Is there something else like that, that you think most people wouldn’t even think matter? And of course, it’s a huge linchpin.


Chris Fischer  28:06  

Yeah, it’s all about, it’s about moon phase. It’s about water temperature and about bottom structure of the area.


Brett Bartholomew  28:13  

And talk to me about bottom structure, what have you found in terms of the years where you’ve seen the most kind of prolific sightings or what have you been looking at? I’m looking at the app right now. I know, nobody can see this. But it’s just incredible seeing the East Coast of the United States. It’s incredible. So talk to me about some of the bottom there if you wouldn’t mind.


Chris Fischer  28:29  

The white sharks right now. South from Canada down toward the southeastern United States in Florida, the bottom structure so we’re lucky you kind of learn how to think like a white shark, right. And so the captain that I’ve been been working with me for over 20 years, this guy named Captain Brett McBride, so if you ever want to meet the real life Aquaman it is Captain Brett McBride . He is, you know, he grew up at eight years old, he was working long range tuna boats out of San Diego, down into Mexico. And he sees the water differently than anyone I’ve ever been on the water with. And so he sees the ocean when he sees the ocean. It’s entirely different than when a normal person looks at the ocean, right? He’s looking at the altitude of the ocean. He’s watching the waves curl over the sea. And every different species of life you see in color breaks, current breaks, all kinds of things, right. And over the years, you know, I think he’s really distilled it down with these white sharks. When we capture him, they’re coming in to hunt for seals. So if you get yourself in a spot that’s poor hunting conditions for a white shark, you’re not going to capture a white shark. You want it so these things are, you know, they’re stealthy, they come in, they’re ambush predators. So he’s finding co locations then he’s looking at the bottom where there’s trenches and where there’s a trench where as a white shark can come in super stealthy on the bottom like, right totally invisible counters shaded coming in on the bottom, maybe there’s like a 15 to 30 foot ledge, you know, and there’s seals up on top of that rock, right? Are they in so he’s down there? He’s invisible. They come out he silhouettes and boom hits him, right. That’s how they hunt. ambush predator. So if you’re not going to catch the white sharks are going to come in on the hunt on like the gradual sandy beach, right? Just because they’re seals there because they’re not going to succeed. So we’ve been able to as we look around and we find different seal haulout scenarios where there seals, we look at the bottom, we understand the hunting conditions for the white sharks, and then we try to put ourselves in the middle of that.


Brett Bartholomew  30:28  

Yeah, that that paints a clear picture. And it’s again, I’d encourage anybody listening to go to Ocearch, to the website, it’s linked in the bio linked everywhere. But yeah, you look at the of course, there’s places you expect it. I’ve been to Australia a number of times, and we have a large Australian following. You expect it around the Great Barrier Reef and just Australia in general, whether you’re Perth, Sydney off the coast, or what have you. But yeah, the East Coast is just, it’s interesting. I see. There’s one chillin out by Ireland as well, given these travels, you know, you go to some tremendously remote places. I remember in one and I think it was a video with you and Brett McBride, you’re talking about an expedition near the Galapagos, right? And whether it’s there or at some other place, you know, you’re gonna have to deal with some solitude. And I know you’ve grown up in Kentucky, and if I remember you describing it correctly, there’s some farms and countryside. You’re that sparse population as is. But solitude impacts people in a lot of different ways. How do you tend to deal with that, even though there’s people on the boat, right, like when you’re just detached from so much? Is that home for you? Does it get a little weird after a while? How do you know, 


Chris Fischer  31:33  

that’s where I find peace. I mean, every I look forward to 25 days, three times a year, where people like if they can’t get in touch with me, it’s totally okay. You know, it is the best. It’s like life used to be. it’s amazing where you can, you know, just talk to people or spend time alone or read, not be inundated by everything up, you know, get really focused on connecting to the earth. So when you’re on the ship, and you’re out there, right, really what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to like deeply plugged into the ocean, and all of the weather at a very deep level, so that you can make decisions to be safe. So that you can listen to her she will tell you where you need to be if you know how to listen. And she will put you on the shark’s she will say no time for you to sit and stay weather coming. She will say today’s the day right here. And then she puts you right on the spot. Right? So the more connected you are, and that’s what I think threat has a very deep gift. The more connected you are the you know, the more you have no problems you’re out of the bad weather before it comes. Right. So if you’re really good at it, it’s a dance and you’re totally plugged in. You can make it so you never really have any crappy weather. And you’re always on the spot when the weather’s good. But it takes I say that after 39 expeditions. These are not the kind of things I want to send after expedition 10. Right?, dumber. I feel a little bit more like the old bull now less like the young bowl. And if you old bulling out there, you can have an amazing trip with amazing success and not get too beat up. 


Brett Bartholomew  33:16  

yeah no, that makes a lot of sense. And I think one thing that also drew me to you is I remember reading an interview and somebody had asked you, you know, obviously about everything you’re doing with those certs. And you had mentioned that you’re not a sharp guy that you never really had a huge fascination with them. Like you said, you’re an ocean guy you like data, I could relate to that. Because even though I trained athletes for a large number of years and still do for me, it was never about like, oh, it’s the exercise in the gym? No, it’s about the psychology of using training as a tool to teach people what they’re capable of right. And then it became the communication and the nuances of oh, if I present something to somebody in this way, even if it’s the same tool, same limitation, same person, I can get more effort and engage them engagement out of them, right? There’s a psychology to it. And that’s always been the bigger quote unquote, ecosystem that I’ve enjoyed. Given that given the continuous fascination, obviously, and passion for the ocean and data. How do you bridge the gap when and I’m sure you have people on your team. But I’d love you to educate me on this when it comes to communicating data in a meaningful way. How long did it take you and your team to really do that? So you could present it to the world in a way that not just made sense to them, but mattered and hit that emotional trigger? And if that question is not clear, let me know.


Chris Fischer  34:29  

Oh, it took a long time. You know, I think one of the other things that was difficult is just a visual of the work itself. Everyone is like oh my God, look at the giant white shark.


Brett Bartholomew  34:41  

Hey, guys, just a reminder, you’re hearing Chris and I discuss a lot of topics that have to do with blending science, with the human component of what we do, whether you’re trying to make your research makes sense to other people, whether you’re trying to navigate egos, biases, agendas, anything like that. All of those things come down to communication. You know, Chris talks about how critical the ocean is to the larger ecosystem of the world and the world in general. Well, that’s how we feel about communication to leadership. So if you’re somebody that struggles with these things, or you’re fascinated by social dynamics, and you want to be a better communicator, whether it’s building your brand or getting your message across to somebody stubborn that you serve to just being a better husband, wife, significant other, what have you, we do that work, and we want to support you at art of coaching. So please check us out You can also go to Our work is for everyone. We have worked with people running mayoral campaigns, we have worked with doctors who are trying to navigate the telehealth space, we have worked with members of the military scientists, we work with anybody who has to communicate deal with lead, or work with people in any capacity, check us out and make sure you continue to share and support Chris’s work as well. All right, back to the episode.


Chris Fischer  35:58  

Everyone is like Oh my God, look at the giant white shark.


Brett Bartholomew  36:02  

They become obsessed with you


Chris Fischer  36:04  

talking to him about 10 million other things, and they’re not hearing a word you said? Yeah. Because it’s so visually overwhelming. It’s the first time people have been able to see that. And all these various other things. And so, you know, I spend a lot more time now talking about why we do what we do, rather than what we do. Yeah. Those early years. All we talked about was what we do, you know, because it was kind of overwhelming and new for everybody. Maybe hadn’t you know, had the original why when we started, but that was from like within us. But I don’t think that we ever like establish that. Hey, everybody, you guys understand why we’re doing this fish sandwiches. your family, my family fish sandwiches? But in the beginning, you know, especially because we were doing 30 hours on the National Geographic Channel and 10 hours on the History Channel. And those guys just want like, a giant shark. You get a couple guys in a fight. Oh, something’s broken. If you don’t fix it you’re gonna lose it all, like no man, my chief engineers gonna go get our backup. We’re gonna be up and running. We’re not out in the middle of the ocean off of Africa unprepared. Right? You know, so. So they wanted to drive more of that shark shark shark. And that’s why you see it. That’s why I’m 2012 We left TV. We don’t do anymore TV. It’s ridiculous. everything you see on TV is like gimmicky. Not really gonna lead us to where we need to get to to make sure there’s fish sandwiches for our kids. It’s just kind of like light shark horn. Yeah. You know, there’s so few good nuggets in there. But generally speaking, it’s off brand for us to even be in that environment.


Brett Bartholomew  37:41  

Yeah, it was a vehicle right. And again, it’s funny seeing the parallels between things. In coaching, that was always the same thing. You’d have people come watch training, yet they’d get video of, you know, doing battle ropes or something else that wasn’t even the core of the science driven training we were doing. And you get to a point where I remember one time, they caught footage of me doing something at the very end. With an athlete, they’re like, Oh, we’re gonna show that I’m like, You guys showed that like, that was the main thing. And it typecasted or my profession at the time, I remember the first time going to speak for a corporate audience. They said, Oh, your backgrounds a strength coach, right? Aren’t you a guy that yells at people makes them do burpees? And I’m like, that’d be like somebody’s looking at you and be like, so man, tell me all about the biggest shark you’ve ever caught? And like Shark Shark, Shark shark? So you’d be like, you’re missing the point here? No, no, no. And so, with that, given the fact that you did do TV for a while, right, and I have to imagine even though it was


Chris Fischer  37:42  

it’s a way to fun thing. That’s what I was gonna say we don’t talk about the enterprise model, right? We’re giving away $2 million for the ship time every year to the scientists because they got no money. You know, and so we sold the boats, yeah, over about four years, we sold $20 million worth of the TV, I use 10 million to fund the ship and give it to the scientists and use the other 10 million I have a little production company to make the shows. And so it was allowing us to build a global brand. Right. It was allowing us to move around the world and continue to prove the method which is just we haven’t even talked about the method right? First time in history. anybody’s ever lifted a 4000 pound white shark, 


Brett Bartholomew  39:24  

we’re gonna get there. Trust me. I’m gonna ask you about that. 


Chris Fischer  39:26  

Yeah. And so, you know, it was part of the evolution but then, you know, look, the original goal of hold on workstations into people’s lives at a scale unseen since Cousteau 40 million viewers a week. You know, at eight o’clock on Tuesday night is not going to get you there. It does allow you to build a goal. It was great. It was pride in the phase and evolution of things. But then in 2012 it was so obvious that all radical scale was mobile first in the now and after seeing things like Google and Instagram and Twitter, where they give the product away, right? give everything away, create radical scale, monetize the scale, not the product. I was like, We got to try to Google as the approach to Ocean Research, we’re gonna give everything away. That’s when we created the tracker, free ocean tracker, we’re gonna give all the content away, we’re going to give include everyone, it’s going to take us all if we’re going to pull this off anyway. And when we began to open source it in 2012, that’s when our scale and our impressions moved from, like, 10s of millions, you know, 40 50 60 million impressions a year into the billions, right? A billion to 1,000,000,006 of impressions a year. And that was because content is king we live in the era of content is king.


Brett Bartholomew  40:50  

Yep. No, it’s a sound strategy, obviously, like, and people worry so much about open source. I remember, you know, there’s so many secret of industries, especially those that are science driven. And it’s like, Hey, come on, guys. You know, every chef has the recipe for lobster, mac and cheese. You know, how you do that is very different. Just like, you know, I had to go to a pre op appointment this morning. And you look at surgeons, and of course, they understand techniques. But what sets somebody aside is not only their technical expertise, but the bedside manner. There’s always some other example of like, how much can we put out there? So people have a real understanding of what we do and how we do it, but there’s all well, if we put it out there, our trade secrets are gonna be there, or somebody else can mimic us and


Chris Fischer  41:33  

old way bro. That’s the old way. Yeah, yeah.


Brett Bartholomew  41:36  

How early on before we get to the method? Because I do want to, it would be hypocritical for me to be in a profession where we move weight, and I don’t talk to you about how you lift a shark out of the water, like you mentioned. But before you have this platform, I mean, you had sponsorships, you still have sponsorships, you had part yet? How do you even approach those things? I mean, to the average Joe, right, they have the idea of like, oh, well, you just keep emailing and you reach out and connections or what have you. What was your approach? Or was it something that was even comfortable for you? I mean, I guess you were the son of an entrepreneur, but a lot of people in data driven fields, they don’t feel comfortable trying to create partnership spots, even if they know, right, that approach that interpersonal approach is hard.


Chris Fischer  42:15  

Yeah. I think the enterprise building is just my particular strength. I mean, that’s what I bring to the table on the team, you know, within the team, I mean, there’s a lot of people bring a lot of things to the table. That’s kind of my thing to bring to the table. So you know, we were doing television before and I have went out and sold all those sponsorships and started a little production company make an offshore you know, fishing shows on ESP and outdoors in the early 2000s. So called offshore adventures and then just kind of evolved that into ocean exploration. Because offshore Adventures is when we were helping the scientists who study things like go fish and tuna, they started complaining about sharks pivoted because they said no big sharks, no fish sandwiches, and we don’t know. Like, that’s like a holy shit moment on like, what? Okay, I guess I’d better do that. You know, and that’s when Oh, search began. And then so we rolled with the television and through 12. But then they started it was the era of reality TV, so they wanted to kind of just kind of taken us off brand. You know, because we are about data driven centrists that are chasing an impact. You know, not like the biggest that was that era were the biggest derelict on TV One, every show was crazier and crazier. And then the open source thing, and we were an early adopter and 12 even though that doesn’t seem super early. But when we decided to open source, the tracking, oh, my god, the concept of the ownership and data people went crazy. You can’t do that, then you can’t publish them, like, Wait a minute. And we figured it out, right? And then the big collaborative teams, well, we got to work in our silos. No, look, we’re going to catch one you’re all going to learn I’m not going to catch 24 of these because you got 24 projects, that’s just not ocean first. That’s not sure we’re gonna catch one. And we’re gonna get the same data set off one because you guys are gonna collaborate, rather than putting 23 other sharks through it for you one at a time. that’s how you how inefficient is that? 


Brett Bartholomew  44:10  

Yeah, right. 100%. 


Chris Fischer  44:11  

And we started sharing all that. And then the sharks cooperated. when we open sourced it, we didn’t know what was going to happen. We just thought it was the right thing to do. And then you got sharks, like Mary Lee just swimming down the beaches. And then every single press outlet wants to tell the story of Mary Lee, because they now know Mary leaves off the beach. And that they need an image right? So I send them an image with brands integrated into it. We’ve been able to leverage the earned media spaces our content distributed with brand integrated content.


Brett Bartholomew  44:40  

Yeah, you got to that’s and that’s what’s always driven me nuts. I remember Chris one time, I had this academic going long and loud because he didn’t like the word in my first book. It’s called The Art and Science of building by in right. And he goes well buy in. Buy in is a bad term. You know, we’re educators. We don’t teach by and we’re not selling or what have you. I’m like, this is What you’re hung up on, right? You’re hung up on a term, that’s a colloquialism that everybody in the world understands to some degree. And that’s to your point. That’s why, 


Chris Fischer  45:08  

by the way, bro, everybody’s selling 


Brett Bartholomew  45:10  

100% 100. But, you know, it goes back to that high horse. And that’s why, like, you know, when I was researching, I was searching and seeing that you guys knew, you know, education. Now, you know, for other stem. I mean, it’s, they’re learning STEM skills. You know, and this is important. And you’re seeing this continue to branch off in really unique ways. We work with a variety of STEM professionals on how to communicate their research, because again, words, they don’t always come naturally to everybody, they certainly do, you know, you’re a skilled communicator. But that’s the problem. When you do meaningful work, you also have to find the words that evoke the meaning of that in a way that makes sense to the other people. 


Chris Fischer  45:45  

Regular Language. Yeah, 


Brett Bartholomew  45:46  

regular language


Chris Fischer  45:47  

You ain’t impressing anybody with your fancy words, 


Brett Bartholomew  45:49  

not at all


Chris Fischer  45:51  

you know, the science and the now the exploration, the now everything was mobile first in the now and then I went to this school in Jacksonville, I speak to a lot of students. And I went to this, I think, was third grade or fourth grade, this woman had a life sized shark on the wall with all the measurements, she had maps, and the students were mapping the sharks as they moved in the tracker. She’s like, I can’t get my kids interested in like geography and math. So I just took your tracker, and they’re learning geography and math, and they don’t even know it. It’s fantastic. And I said to her, I said, Oh, my God, can I scale this? And she said, Sure. And then we went and developed a full K through 12, STEM based educational curriculum. It’s integrated into the real time tracking on the tracker. So now you got science in the now exploration in the now education in the now everybody’s in the now now. Right? This is where we are. and then it’s just really exploded. It’s used all over the world in the English metric system and 250 languages, and I think 49 states now.


Brett Bartholomew  46:49  

It’s unbelievable. All right. Well, we let’s get into the methods, right. So there’s so many places we could start here from the tagging aid. First, I think let’s go with the obvious one. Because that’s just imagine there’s some folks listening that, you know, just the idea of tagging an animal seems ambiguous, right? They see it on TV, they wonder, does it cause pain, whatever, I think if I remember correctly, and I’m not playing pseudoscience here, yet, I was fascinated with sharks when I was younger. Where you tagged them? Does it have nerve supply? Or how


Chris Fischer  47:18  

they dont feel anything that’s less than an earring?


Brett Bartholomew  47:21  

Okay, so with the tagging and the lifting, or the extraction, whatever the term and nomenclature is, I don’t want to disrespect your craft. Can you walk us through some of the finer aspects of these methods?


Chris Fischer  47:31  

Yeah, I think that’s important because people get so connected to the tracking because of the tracker. But that’s one of 24 research projects. We’re setting the full biology and ecology of the white shrak. So when we’re in an area and Brett SCOTUS where he likes to be in, we’re set up, you know, we have the main ship, which is the Oh search, it’s 126 foot retired Bering Sea krever. And it has this very unique lift on it that goes over the starboard side, the right hand side of the ship and goes about eight feet underwater. And we used to lift that to pick up a 50 foot sportfisher and stick it on the deck for like long range mothership operation, fishing and remote parts of the world. But we got rid of the game boat, and we built a corral around it and now we still we have the ship we have the little 30 foot contender center console that boat we capture the sharks with and another 28 foot tender that’s kind of like the workhorse of the operation moving people and supplies around. The guys will set up in an area that ship will be right there next to them right and they will be in an area when a shark picks up a bait. I think this is the thing most people don’t understand. You know, we don’t really catch sharks anymore. I would say we quickly train them. You know, because we’ll catch 1000 pound shark and six minutes we’ll catch a 4000 pound shark and 35 minutes. These animals aren’t tired, right? They’ve chosen to give up a 4000 pound white shark could fight you for two three days 


Brett Bartholomew  49:01  

just the amount of muscle and energy and force and all these things. Yeah, they’re not they’re not


Chris Fischer  49:07  

stimulated to use it. Or should they be like duped into just say, You know what, it’s easier for me just to give up. I’m not goingto fight, 


Brett Bartholomew  49:15  

give grounded gain ground.


Chris Fischer  49:17  

Yeah, so it’s the condition that sharks have called learned helplessness where they know if they can’t get away, they’ll just go they’ll give up and just kind of cooperate and allow to speak. It’s just like when you put a baby in a swaddle that’s colicky and it wasn’t it can’t move and eventually it gives up and just goes quiet that’s learned helplessness.


Brett Bartholomew  49:36  

I know I know adults like this I’ve had I think there’s some people that have had employees that have this so we’re with you.


Chris Fischer  49:43  

So those guys a shark will come in and pick up a bait and a Vegas there is no rod and reel for this right it’s these animals are all too big. It’s all hand lines and boat driving and buoys. And so a shark will pick up the bait and believe it or not when they pick up the suit first of all their suit are finicky it’s hard as hell to get them to eat. They’ll swim around you for days and not eat. So people think when they think there’s a shark if they come in and there’s a bait in the water they just like stupidly eat it or voraciously consume it. These things are the most picky wrong time of day. Wrong tide wrong. No, they will see a shark around us for three days sometimes before it chooses to pick up a bait.


Brett Bartholomew  50:24  

Is that just because I mean, they’re inherently like you said they’re kind of antisocial or they’re distracted or they’re trying to reserve this nervous.


Chris Fischer  50:31  

Genetically nervous think about a lion. Think about a wolf or not surviving in the wild. If it doesn’t look, it just doesn’t look right. I’m out of here. Yeah, you know, super genetically weary top of the food chain always looking over its shoulder its whole life. Right? And, so when a lot of times when they do pick one up, they just kind of pick it up and walk away. It’s not like they come in and tear it up and they just kind of swim by and like, just keep moving. So sometimes we’ll see him do that. And then Brett and the guys on the contender, they will see like, Oh, look at baits walking away. We got one picked up the bait 


Brett Bartholomew  51:10  

and the contenders another boat, 


Chris Fischer  51:12  

the contenders a little 30 foot center console, that’s our game boat, right, that goes out and does all the catching, and brings it back to the ship. And they’ll go up and there’ll be you know, some the line will come up. And they’ll be a handful of buoys on the surface. And we’ll give you videos of this and all you want, you know, or people would want you to do search. They’ll go to the final buoy. They’ll pick that buoy up and try to do it in a way that the shark doesn’t even know they have it in their hand. Right? And they’ll come up on that shark put a no pressure on the shark. It’s just swimming away. It’s like, Oh, someone’s caught on me. I don’t know what that is. And then. if it’s swimming away from the boat, they’ll just like gently tug on one side of it and get the shark to kind of go into a slow turn until it’s swimming back to the ship and then take pressure off. And literally they will walk the shark all the way back to the ship on like a loose leash


Brett Bartholomew  52:08  

such a feel to it. 


Chris Fischer  52:10  

Yeah, it used to be you’re going to grab it, you’re gonna fight and I think that’s what everyone thinks it is. Oh my god, that must be crazy. It’s like no, dude, we’re gonna outsmart this thing. Are they gonna fight? Why would we fight the 4000 pound white shark


Brett Bartholomew  52:20  

you’ll lose? Yeah. Yeah. Well, and what’s fascinating about that, it’s such an interesting anecdote to life. It’s like when we try to change behavior or influence, the indirect method is usually the best, you very rarely win by force. You know, you just and if you do, you get compliance, you don’t get commitment, you know, you’re not getting anything that had been. And I would have to imagine if you wrestle that, I’m sorry, 


Chris Fischer  52:41  

you don’t get buy, right 


Brett Bartholomew  52:43  

Oh, yeah, a bad term. But like, and plus, I’d have to imagine and again, correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t know, anything I’m talking about here. But if you did wrestle this thing, and it was forced, I mean, what would that skew and ruin essentially, some of the data you’re getting? 


Chris Fischer  52:55  

I mean, right. What we’re trying to do is what we’re learning is time on the hook, or that time is what is the indicator, what creates stress? Worse isn’t we’re not seeing stress created on the animal, once they’re in the lift, it’s all about how they get to the lift. So we’ll literally have some sharks, where we have zero fight time, like a little 1000 pound 1200 pound white shark will coax it back to the boat, it won’t even know it’s there will slip a buoy in front of his face, and it’s in the lift, and it doesn’t even know what happened. And then we’ll go to the scientists like, because what Brett’s trying to get the scientist is what, like, the zero stress level blood value of a white shark is


Brett Bartholomew  53:34  

Yeah, well, I’m the sperm production, wouldn’t it impact sperm production to I think, you know, again, seeing some of the videos, which that is so it’s so crazy to see that, you know, to be able to see the extraction of that. But I mean, we know in humans, right, if there’s stress and what have you that affects that. So it has to impact all of those things.


Chris Fischer  53:50  

Well, yeah, it would. But I mean, our interaction is so short, it’s not like they’re under stress for like chronic whatever, right? Like, this is something that hopefully they don’t even know what happened. And then when we get them into the lift, so those lifts off the starboard side of the ship, it’ll pick the animal up out of the water, that lift can pick up 75,000 pounds. So if you know 1 2 3 4 5000 pound white shark is not a thing for it, right? It’s from a capacity standpoint, the animal the animal centered in there, and then immediately when it comes up as a hose that goes in its mouth, so it continues to breathe, okay, and a towel that goes over its eyes. Sometimes they’ll move a little bit once and then they just lay there again learned helplessness. They know like, Well, that didn’t work. I better just chill out and see how this goes. Immediately we get a blood draw from it and then that sample goes into the lab and they’re checking the stress levels of the shark while we do the 21 the 23 other research projects on that animal ultrasound is occurring. If it’s a female she’s always in with the right side up because her ovaries are on the right so we can get a good look at her ovaries. We have never caught a pregnant white shark. We don’t believe we’re on them when they should be pregnant. And then also if it’s a male, their chest tech in the testes looking at the reproductive organs, we’re getting the heart rate last year. And through this year, we now have a full suite of heart rates on multiple animals. No one ever had the heart rate of why What do you think the heart resting heartbeat of a like a 3000 pound white shark is


Brett Bartholomew  55:19  

like Yeah, well, I wish I knew the base level of just a 86 beats per minute.


Chris Fischer  55:28  

Between six and 10. it’s like an hour, boom, and then a pause. So we’re seeing like 7 8 9 on most of these sharks, like their resting heart rate. So we’ve got that from about 10 or 12. Sharks. Now it’s all consistent. Like another big heart rate, big push and a pause. And then we’ll go about if it’s a male, we’ll get a semen sample. And that will immediately go into the microscope to see if there motile and mature will get fecal samples. You know, the certs, we just finished a Nova Scotian. Every one of these animals, when you look at the pictures, you’ll see claw marks all around their faces, they’re all caught up, because when they hit those seals and eat them, those seals fight back pads are all scratched up and tore up all around them. And then of course, when we get the fecal samples, we’re getting sealed for in the fecal samples, right? Yeah, so understanding their diet, we have bacteria coming off their teeth, tongue and gums. So we can advise all the hospitals across the East Coast, what antibiotic fight the bacteria in the mouths of our white sharks if there’s an interaction, and then a whole new drug discovery program for new antibiotics for humans from the bacteria coming off in an effort to focus in on things like staph and Mercer. Because our we need novel sources of antibiotics right now, because of what we currently have is no longer working as well as it has in the past. We get parasites, we measure the animal, we use three different types of tags, we do have an eyeball project, so there’s always a scientist up there studying their eyeballs and getting images of their eyeball. So it’s a tissue samples for their diet and genetics. And it all happens, you know, in about 15 to 17 minutes and then lower the level back down and everyone on the world can tracker from there on out every animal we touch now is the most comprehensive individually studied white shark in history 24 Researchers getting data off every shark instead of one at a time.


Brett Bartholomew  57:25  

And just to go back to the audience doesn’t miss it. You know, you talking about the DNA samples and like studying the teeth so you can inform hospitals and medical providers. And that’s such a prime example of why it’s totally reasonable that it would upset you and people are like, Oh, show me the craziness of you wrestle in the shark and unprepared you’re like, Dude,


Chris Fischer  57:46  

this is sandwiches and antibiotics, 


Brett Bartholomew  57:48  

right. And this thing is not just part of an ecosystem, a shark in many ways is an ecosystem in and of itself.


Chris Fischer  57:54  

That will and that’s why we study and look as they go the system goes and when you really back it down, I’m a big First Things First guy, if the ocean system is not working, we’re all dead. Sure, it doesn’t matter what we do on land, it’s two thirds of our air 100% of our oxygen 100% of our water, two thirds of all of our air and about half the people every day count on protein from the ocean. And so if the ocean system fails, this is one of the things that I think is so interesting when you look at all research and all these kinds of nonprofits and all these various activities when you look at like Earth system management because we don’t have like an Earth Council which is like the dumbest thing of all time like we’re on the no plan plan for the planet. but so but anyway at least if you’re going to try to affect something if the planet is going to exist we must save the ocean first.


Brett Bartholomew  58:48  

Yeah 100%


Chris Fischer  58:49  

because if we Lose the ocean we’re all dead on land no matter what we do.


Brett Bartholomew  58:53  

Yeah, it’s in arguable


Chris Fischer  58:55  

so that’s why I’m a big First things first person


Brett Bartholomew  58:59  

you’re talking to a guy that owns a business on communication I’m with you. I’m with you.


Chris Fischer  59:03  

And then as the sharks go the system goes Well that’s why we’re here in this space.


Brett Bartholomew  59:08  

I remember one note I made when we first call talk to each other is you know I told my wife who works on our company I said communication is our ocean you know I told her about everything that you do and I go you know the equivalent there and and just even with human beings as well like you have to be first things first because they’re also the first things to go I mean look at schools right now little to no sex ed little to no phys ed recess taken out who learns finance half the time, unless you major in that kind of thing, right? We there’s so many people that don’t learn the first things and then we it because it’s almost too simple, right? That’s the illusion that I remember one time asking other coaches, I said, hey, when do you study? When do you go learn about communication, not just your trade. I learned about that every day. I live life and the ongoing joke is, well, I grew up you know, I mean, I wake up every day as a husband, it doesn’t mean I’m a great husband. Like I got to work at that. And so it’s amazing to me when people will look at the ocean. Look at the things and they think like, yeah, it’ll kind of figure itself out. No, it doesn’t, then especially now, you know, one thing I want to ask you is, you know, I’m sitting here tracking, and I’m probably gonna butcher her name. But I’m looking at UNA McKee, who is a 2007 76 pound female 15 feet five inches, you know, just totally so funny. People can’t even put that into scale. Right? You think about seeing that. But with all the hurricanes, all the things in this hurricane season being what it’s been, what impact does that have, you know, on these migration patterns that you see now compared to when you first started doing these expeditions? Have you seen a lot of change? Or are sharks pretty resilient to that? I mean, obviously, water damage. 


Chris Fischer  1:00:41  

So we have some data on that. First of all, una McKee I believe is pregnant. And if she could show us in this, like, May June timeframe where the Atlantic wipes the Atlantic Canada, white shark gives birth, 


Brett Bartholomew  1:00:56  

oh, I picked a good one.


Chris Fischer  1:00:58  

So she’s good. Not only that una McKee the word comes from we tag that shark off Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, like outrageous place like the wild of Nova Scotia and wild ocean. And the indigenous people, they’re the mcMac people. And they call the area where we caught her, una McKee, which means Land of the fall. so that’s the story behind Luna, my keys name, it’s MC Mac, for the end of the fog, the region where we tagged her,


Brett Bartholomew  1:01:28  

and she’s been busy. I look at her path right now. And again, I encourage everybody to go to the website. And I’m not just saying that to drive traffic to Christmas. tour tickets, right? Oh, it’s amazing. Yeah, exactly. And I mean, but just the lie, like the distance these things cover is unbelievable. 


Chris Fischer  1:01:43  

You’ve seen animals swim over 20,000 miles a year. So yeah, so you gotta realize when it comes back to your question about shifting, migratory, we are establishing the baseline of data, there is no data from before to compare the movements of these animals so that we can understand if any sort of shift has occurred. So what you’re going to see in future years is people will be comparing the movements of the animals to the data set that we’re all witnessing unfold right now as the baseline of data for the range of the North Atlantic white shark. So that will come down the road, but at least now we’ve set you know, a stake in the ground with a baseline of data on it, but we don’t have the luxury of comparing looking back to anything. So time will tell, you know, yeah, we see these animals, you know, in temperatures from 80, down to the 40. When we look at their track and where they are and what they’re doing. So you know, a half a degree or one degree, you know, that’s does not really matter too much to them. Yeah, it does change things if it changes where their food moves. Right. If it affects something else that then because everything’s connected


Brett Bartholomew  1:02:51  

upstream, downstream. Yeah. All those pieces. That’s fascinating,


Chris Fischer  1:02:56  

affected, but it’s not going to like shove them around because they can’t tolerate it. Yeah, might have around something they eat that can’t tolerate it. So they move around a bit differently. Terminal tell at least that we got the baseline a date. I mean, imagine this, you’re looking at those tracks. That’s the first time in history, we’ve defined just the range of the North Atlantic whiter. People didn’t even know that they were living off the southeastern United States in Florida all winter long. We’ve all been smoothed white sharks our whole lives. You know, they think about it up in Cape Cod, they just pop up there for a few months in the late summer and fall. The rest of the time. They’re basically from Cape Hatteras wrapping around Florida, into the Gulf of Mexico. So the range of the white shark and where it lives really stunned everyone when we had because we went from no data to a tremendous amount of data fast. And then all of a sudden, sharks started showing us Canada. We chased a couple of sharks up there, one named Hilton we tagged off Hilton Head. He went to Canada. He didn’t go to Cape Cod. We’re like, we tagged another shark Lidia in Florida, right in the mouth of the St. Johns River. They’re off Jacksonville. She didn’t go to Cape Cod. She went to Canada, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. So then we chase the science, we chase the data, right? We move the ship we move the team up there found a whole new world and white sharks in Atlantic Canada. I think it might be the center of the North Atlantic white shark puzzle, not the northeastern United States. Just nobody knew, you know, there’s not a lot of people, these these things are invisible. Like I said, they don’t want to be seen they’re not gonna see it.


Brett Bartholomew  1:04:25  

Yeah, it definitely is fascinating. I’m looking at Luis, just casual, right Western Australia, just making that migration from there to South Africa. And I remember, the first time I ever went to Perth, I look out and you just look at the vastness and you appreciate the magnitude of the ocean and like you said, these things will travel 20,000 miles a year. That’s casual to them, you know, and just from a nerd standpoint, because you’ve answered a lot of hard questions and I want to be respectful of your time. So I just have one rumination that I think is just funny. And then two more questions and then we’ll get you on your way Are you game 


Chris Fischer  1:04:58  



Brett Bartholomew  1:04:59  

one just for A curiosity standpoint, I know this seems so stupid. But I’m a big astronomy nerd. And as we continue to learn more Bo are about exoplanets. And everything out there that we know is just beyond the vastness of what we understand. I always ask my wife, I’m like, if this is what’s in the oceans here, can you imagine and there’s somebody that appreciates the oceans? Can you imagine what is in some of these planets that they’re discovering now that they’re like, yeah, it’s basically an ocean world. You know, it’s a super Earth. I mean, can you imagine now there may be nothing, right? But can you imagine?


Chris Fischer  1:05:27  

I think when you look up and you understand how many places there are up there, it would be incredibly arrogant to think we’re the only one right? Math, just do the math.


Brett Bartholomew  1:05:39  

How would you like to be the first person on that expedition? You’re on an exoplanet. You have the technology? And they say, all right, man, good luck. How terrifying would it be to go in that foreign ocean?


Chris Fischer  1:05:47  

I mean, I don’t know that I would be terrified. But I do know this. What I’d rather do is like, look, I think we were living on the best spaceship going. Let’s just make it so we don’t need to go find one. Yeah, ours is so well looked after. So he’s, like, well, we’re gonna go to Mars. Like, I don’t want to go to Mars and live in the shed. Well, look at our spaceship here. It’s got oceans and mountains and skiing and fishing and fields. And like, we’re on the ultimate spaceship right now. All in. The problem is we’ve been killing the crew. So let’s bring the crew back because they keep the whole earth system working. And let’s flourish Get it together. But I mean, this whole this whole fascination with spent with going to Mars, I get the, like, exploration and reaching Sure. Yeah, but you want to do that after you got home base looked after. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:06:40  

And you know, we know very little about the


Chris Fischer  1:06:42  

right off home base. And like, oh, we gotta like, I don’t want like the quality of life there is going to be awful. I just I hear is amazing.


Brett Bartholomew  1:06:53  

I agree. I just said, you know, when I look up, I walk a lot at night, and I just look up and I’ve always been that kind of person. I just, it’s always fascinating. This one’s an easy one. And we’re gonna poke fun at our friend Karl. If Karl was it type of ocean creature. And anybody that doesn’t know Karl, you know? Um, he’s got a great episode that he’s been on here before karl coward on mentorship. Listen to it. But this one’s for me and Chris just a laugh at a good buddy. If he was an ocean creature of any kind. What WhaKt would Carl be here?


Chris Fischer  1:07:21  

I think Carl would probably be an octopus.


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:24  

Oh, very in touch. Very intelligent. You know,


Chris Fischer  1:07:28  

like maybe the smartest creature in the ocean. multi-dimensional. Very clever and different environments can change to adapt to what it needs to to survive and thrive.


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:41  

But still soft. Let’s let’s throw an insult in there too. 


Chris Fischer  1:07:44  

Still soft yeah, you know, soft until they don’t have to be and then very capable.


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:49  

Yeah, there we go. Alright. And the final one, my friend. What is and I think you alluded to it when he talked about that how these things get done. But what is a question that people don’t ask you enough that they really should be? 


Chris Fischer  1:08:02  

How do you pay for it? 


Brett Bartholomew  1:08:04  

Oh, very like Boom, just like that. I like that. I like that


Chris Fischer  1:08:09  

prise behind it. That’s the most but yes, we’ve revolutionized methods and we’ve revolutionized team building in the ocean space. But none of that happens unless you can pay for it.


Brett Bartholomew  1:08:19  

Well, I appreciate that. Well, Chris, thank you so much, man for coming on. And I want again, I can’t be more adamant about how much people need to support your work and everything you’re doing I selfishly would love some time to come on an expedition I’m sure that’s not even a thing but I told


Chris Fischer  1:08:34  

come on out man look Ocearch is not anyone’s it’s everyone’s you know, and now the academic home of Ocearch is now at Jacksonville University. The City of Jacksonville is building us a permanent facility for Ocearch there are setting it up to give it away to the future. So it’s really by the people for the people. That’s why inclusion is our core value. And so yeah, man, if you can come on out, come on out, come out. Because I recommend you come to Nova Scotia in September.


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:02  

Yeah, it’d be amazing where and is that the best place for people to keep in touch to support you? Everything is there another place you’d like to join and


Chris Fischer  1:09:11  

then you know, all the search handles across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and then all the content on the Ocearch YouTube channel, you know, for your kids do that, you know, watch the videos, then go to the tracker and Oh, search that or track the sharks with your kids. Watch the films, it really is something that we’re trying to build to give away. Right. But you know, we’re not trying to hold on to it. We’re trying to set it up and give it away. And then also trying to share the model so that we get more people and more fields of research, collaborating, open sourcing, and then it just in the pursuit of data for toward abundance, and trying to help people become more efficient that pursuing that because the current methods are too inefficient and they’re not going to get us there. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:56  

Well, it’s truly fascinating work and it’s a pleasure being here. On here’s somebody that’s such a strong communicator and passionate and purposeful about what they’re doing man indeed for you to give a stranger so much of your time. I can’t thank you enough for coming on today.


Chris Fischer  1:10:09  

Thanks for having me enjoyed the lot look forward to the next time.


Brett Bartholomew  1:10:11  

Alright guys for the art of coaching podcast Brett Bartholomew Chris Fischer signing up.

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