Beating Out The Weather

Friday, November 18th 2011

A shoal of fish hanging around the boat during our swim break. Click to enlarge.

Based on the weather report from the night before, a sunny, calm day out on the water did seem to be in the cards. Members of Prana Yoga studio, along with some students from Dr. Hammerschlag’s marine conservation and ecology class, joined us on the boat today. Captain Curt decided to take us out to deeper water where we would hopefully find some hungry sharks. The first set of baits went in the water with plenty of time to spare. This means we had enough time for a swim break! The water was full of zooplankton and fish, which is a good sign for us because if there are fish, the sharks shouldn’t be far behind!

Soon after our little swim break, we started pulling lines in (with a lot of help from our guests) but, unfortunately, the first 10 hooks came up empty. With spirits still high, and the weather still sunny, we persevered and, finally, we had a bite! Our delicious mackerel bait managed to attract a beautiful 7ft male bull shark. The guests assisted our interns with quickly taking all of the necessary samples: a muscle biopsy, fin clip, length measurements, and blood. We also attached a satellite tag to the shark’s dorsal fin, which tells us the location of the shark whenever its dorsal fin breaks the surface of the water. The shark, which was named Prana, was released in great condition, ready to show off his shiny satellite tag to all of his sharky friends.

Masters student, Fiona Graham, and PhD student, Austin Gallagher, securing Prana. Click to enlarge.

Unfortunately, Prana was the only shark we caught today. Although we were only able to tag one shark, the weather held up nicely and we did get to go swimming (always a plus). Thus, overall it was a bit of the slow day, but at least we were able to add Prana to the RJD family. It’s interesting how even though there is high productivity in this area (with visible zooplankton and fish around), the sharks still appear to be missing… Food for thought. Speaking of food, hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Keep the shark vibes strong!

Be sure to follow Prana and our other finned friends, over 70 satellite tagged sharks now! Woot woot!!

Until next time,
Josh Levy, RJD Intern


Prana sporting his new satellite tag. Click to enlarge.

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