Shark Tagging with the University of Miami Citizens’ Board

by Becca Shelton, RJD Intern
4/27/2013

The excitement on board the R/V Endsley was pretty apparent before we pushed away from the dock. During the prior two days, RJD had successfully tagged and released 12 nurse sharks and 2 bull sharks around Key Biscayne! You never know what you’re going to catch from day to day, but since it was nurse shark mating season, we predicted that we would catch a decent amount of feisty nurses. With high hopes, we headed off to the channel at Bear Cut.

An hour after we deployed the first set of drumlines, it was time to pull them in and see if there were any sharks on the lines! We highly encourage all of our guests to be as involved as possible and help us with collecting samples from the sharks as well as help with reeling in and deploying lines.

 

One of our guests uses a YoYo to reel in a drumline

One of our guests uses a YoYo to reel in a drumline

It was a beautiful, sunny day but the sharks were not taking the bait. After 20 lines and no sharks, we were worried about getting “skunked.” (Skunked means zero sharks for the trip). Instead of admitting defeat, we moved the drumlines to “Stiltsville” where there is another channel. After waiting another 1 hour standardized soak time, we began to reel in the last 10 lines. You know what they say “location, location, location!” We caught 5 sharks on 10 lines! We couldn’t believe our change of luck. We caught 3 black tip sharks, 1 blacknose and 1 nurse shark!

 

A water pump is inserted into the balcktip shark’s mouth to continuously pump water over their gills and to keep their mouth happily occupied.

A water pump is inserted into the balcktip shark’s mouth to continuously pump water over their gills and to keep their mouth happily occupied.

Everyone on board had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed getting up close and personal with these majestic creatures. We finished the trip with a traditional group photo and showed off some UM pride! Truly a great day on the water!

Citizens' Board throwing up the “U” to show Canes pride!

Citizens’ Board throwing up the “U” to show Canes pride!

1 reply
  1. Jenny Thomas
    Jenny Thomas says:

    Looked like a beautiful day 😉 Looks like so much fun I wish I could go and be apart of that. I TOTALLY love sharks until then Ill just keep going to the sweat lodge and praying for them 😉 Keep swimming strong Shark Nation (oyate)

    Reply

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