Sustainable Fishing, Marine Biology & Conservation

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2016 Shark Research Trips

Objective:
Attach Satellite "SPOT" tags to mako sharks and track their movements over time.

All of our shark trips aboard the Fish Finder employ elements of the various shark research projects we’re involved with. But in May of 2013-15 we ran some very unique trips where the goal was to attach SPOT (Smart Position and Temperature) tags to shortfin mako sharks. This type of tag is bolted onto the shark's dorsal fin and are the same type that you might have seen used on the television shows “Shark Wranglers” and “The Great White Expedition” by the OCEARCH team when they were tagging great whites on a lift platform off the side of their ship.

2016 Special Research SPOT Tagging Trips - May 17-28, 2016

Shark researchers from the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Save Our Seas Shark Center at NOVA Southeastern University Oceanographic Center and the University of Rhode Island were aboard to direct the tagging operation, while Captain Sampson and his first mate were in charge of the fishing-end of the project. Four crew-members (from the public) joined us to share the duties of anglers and assistants.

Similar to our usual Offshore Shark trips, these Research Trips had us 25-35 miles offshore where we set-up a chum slick and deployed shark baits on standard sport fishing tackle. Whenever we hooked a shark one of the four crew members fought it to the boat, makos were brought aboard so that the SPOT tag could be carefully attached and a few other procedures performed before it was released.

This has proven to be a very unique tagging project that has never been done off the mid-Atlantic and is yielding valuable information about the biology, habits, and travel routes of mako sharks. It is also a rare opportunity for the public to take an active role in unique and important studies being conducted by world-renowned shark researchers using cutting edge technology.

We planted five SPOT tags in 2013 eight in 2014, 12 in 2015. In 2016 we hope to release even makos with SPOT tags and have set aside the second half of May to get the job done. We are again offering the opportuntiy for four members of the public to come along and assist us on each of these SPOT tagging trips. The price will be $350 per person (this price includes the tip for the mate) and we already have some of the days booked full. Interested participants should call or email to reserve their place on the boat.

Anyone can follow the tracks of the sharks we tagged off Ocean City Maryland from the link below. From the link you'' see a chart of the Atlantic. On the right side of that screen you can select the sharks you wish to track:

2013 sharks include;
GHOF1, GHOF2, GHOF3, GHOF4, and I_NSU
2014 sharks include;
JiffyLube 1, JiffyLube 2, JiffyLube 3, SOSF1, SOSF2, SOSF3, SOSF4, St.Marys 

http://www.nova.edu/~johnmatt/makosharks.htm 

More SPOT Tag information:

http://www.coml.org/edu/tech/study/spot1.htm