A new RJD record: 11 nurse sharks in one day!

Sunday, February 26th

From the looks of the weather, the mast academy and the RJD interns didn’t think we were going to have a shark filled day. There were scattered clouds, choppy waters  and the group was set out to go to the edge of Hawks Channels where the waters were a bit calmer.  Captain Curt, James, David, Julia, Virginia, LeAnn, Fiona,  Laurel and set out the first drumlines. The spirits were high and everybody had one thing on their mind, sharks.

A couple drumlines were reeled in and the first nurse shark was on the line. The students and interns were able to gather data for the program by taking measurements, a fin clip, and insert a spaghetti tag. We kept rolling in the drumlines and the sharks just kept coming.

Captain Curt pulls in a beautiful nurse shark so the team and the mast academy students can gather some data.

In total, 11 Nurse sharks were reeled in! The interns and the students took turns reeling them in  So many were caught it led Phd student, David Shiffman, and the others, to believe there was mating going on. there were visible signs on the sharks and The large aggregation points to the idea of a mating event. Everybody was tired after a long day of tagging. It was a bittersweet day for RJD as it was the last day on Captain Slate’s boat moving on to Captain Curt’s new research vessel, the R/V Endsley.  The waters might have been a little choppy but that did not stop the interns and school from having a great time.

The shark team and mast academy say goodbye to Captain Slates boat after a great day.

James Komisarjevsky, RJD Intern

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