CNN Reports on the RJ Dunlap Program!

Virginia’s Blog – Saturday June 26, 2010

The day’s events were highlighted by the attendance of a CNN film crew and producer.  Their presence called for a chase boat, a smaller faster vessel, to follow us on our journey.  Austin, our team’s newest addition and researcher, boarded the boat with CNN producer.   He had his diving gear in hand, smile in place, ready to dive in, for closer in water footage, with any shark drawn to our delicious barracuda steaks (a favorite amongst our finned friends).  With sunny skies and just a light chop across the bay, the day appeared promising.

The RJ Dunlap Crew is pondering on what sharks may be caught today. (click to enlarge)

We set out with a group of high school students from LakeView Academy joining us all the way from Gainesville, Georgia.  Happy to have them and excited about the CNN reporter and film crew and our eagerness to set out a satellite tag in their presence was more than obvious.  Pulling in our first line with a beautiful 180cm lemon shark, we thought the day’s outcome had been positively defined in our favor, but line after line thereafter proved us wrong, we weren’t going to get that money shot.  We did, however, catch a total of seven sharks: three lemons, three blacktips, and a blacknose.  Overall, a good outcome for the day, regardless of our unfulfilled desire to further expose our recent work, and the amazing equipment and technology that we have the joy of working with.

Measuring a beautiful blacktip. (click to enlarge)

The high school student’s are putting in a spaghetti tag and taking a skin biopsy, followed by antibiotic cream which helps the shark heal faster. (click to enlarge)

A water pump is slowly placed in the sharks mouth, allowing the shark to breath easier at the surface. The RJ Dunlap Program takes every precaution to minimize harm to the shark. (click to enlarge)

Hopefully we can, however, draw attention to the 210,000 gallons of oil a day that are coming out of a hole in the Gulf of Mexico and the tremendous effects it has on the ecosystem. The effects of the spill will be far reaching, giving scientists the major task of quantifying the ramifications and trying to determine ways to reduce the negative impacts of the spill.

It was a great weekend, thank you to CNN and everyone involved.

Feel free to check out both a video and a separate related article on the CNN Interview at the following link:


Virginia Ansaladi (Shark Program Intern)

1 reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *