SeaSquared Charters proudly participates in research regarding catch-and-release shark fishing.
Capt. Chris Johnson and SeaSquared Charters have been chosen by Ph.D Student and Research Assistant, Austin Gallagher, to participate in his shark research with the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS).
In collaboration with Program Director, Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, Gallagher’s research focuses on these areas:
- The impact of catch-and-release fishing on sharks
- Ecosystem effects of sharks
- Analysis of behavior and migration through satellite tagging
- Applications for marine protected areas
In our outings to date, we have landed numerous lemon and blacknose sharks in waters in the vicinity of Marathon Florida Keys. Unlike our Florida Keys Shark Fishing Adventures for anglers, the sharks were brought onto the boat for data to be gathers. Gallagher and his assistants have inserted satellite tags, taken blood samples, measured the sharks and determined their gender.
Naturally, all sharks were released unharmed.
As this research is ongoing and many more trips with SeaSquared Charters are scheduled, we will continue to report on Gallagher’s progress.
Excerpt from the University of Miami RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program regarding their Shark Projects:
Sharks are apex predators. They are particularly vulnerable to fishing pressure, habitat loss, and pollution due to their inherent life history characteristics of slow growth, late maturity, long gestation, a low reproduction rate, and long life, which result in a slow rate of population increase.
The removal of these predators from an ecosystem can influence the food web dramatically by causing alterations to prey abundance and behaviors such as selection of feeding sites, temporal feeding patterns, diet, spatial habitat use, and patch selection. The identification and study of habitats significant to the life-history and ecology of sharks has been identified as one of the highest priorities for their conservation. The management of shark fisheries is complicated by the lack of basic data regarding their biology, population dynamics, and essential habitats for migration, foraging, and reproduction.
In light of these issues, research is needed that evaluates the role of sharks in coastal ecosystems. Moreover, studies examining shark biology, population dynamics, and habitat utilization are needed to ensure their conservation and improve their management.