28 July 2009

South Florida Student Shark Program

Graduate student Neil Hammerschlag, under the guidance of David Die, University of Miami-RSMAS, recently brought a group of students to KML for their June shark tagging in The Everglades National Park. The South Florida Student Shark Program is a partnership between the University of Miami, NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center, The Exlorers Club, and the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation. The research objectives focus on
1) determining the relative abundance, growth rates, and sex ratios of coastal shark species;
2) determining the presence and concentrations of mercury toxicity in coastal sharks;
3) characterizing sites important to the life history and ecology of sharks;
4) developing geographic information systems maps that incorportate data on shark population dynamics, genetics, eco-toxicity, and habitat use;
5) delineating areas of important for shark congregation, foraging, migration, and parturition as well as areas where sharks are susceptibale to bio-accumulation of mercury toxicity.

Bullshark being brought alongside the boat for measuring and taggingAnother important aspect of the project is to foster marine sciences, environmental stewardship mentoring, and public awareness through a network of interaction among high school, undergraduate and graduate students.

Magnificent 11' Great Hammerhead

14' Small-toothed Sawfish: Sawfish are an endangered species and require special permits to handle and tag. This fish was released unharmed, as quickly and safely as possible.

A very successful day in the field!
(photos by M. McCallister)

1 comment:

Mike said...

A GREAT last day of work!