Last set of shark trips for the summer!

August 18th, 2010

Under the hot summer sun of August, I could feel the germs multiplying in my sinuses. Yes, that’s right, I was deathly ill on today’s trip…ok, maybe not deathly ill, but sick. Once I laid down for a little nap on the way to our beloved “Curt 1” spot, I never got back up. Ironically, however, I am responsible for the day’s recount. Our first catch of the day was a 200 cm male bull shark, just under our requirements to set out a satellite tag, which was a bit frustrating for some of us (i.e. me!).

We caught a beautiful bull shark who wasn’t yet big enough for one of our fancy satellite tags, but we still tagged, took samples, and released the shark in great condition. (click to enlarge)

Luckily, our next round was great. We (although I should say “they” as I thereafter saw NONE of what happened!) caught another bull shark (also below sat. tag standards in length), two lemon sharks, one of which was our longest for the day at 210 cm and who was particularly skinny.  (Brendal said she believed this to be because the lemons have been pupping, so they were still recovering from expending so much energy on birthing pups), and one more blacktip.

A very thin, but healthy lemon shark coming to collect her new tag! (click to enlarge)

Another lemon shark that was thin, but looked great! (click to enlarge)

Another exciting catch was the basket star that had wrapped its arms around one of our leaders.  We kept the basket star on the boat in a bucket for a while and watched it open itself up to full form.

A basket star was found on one of our lines, so we put it in a bucket of water so the students could check it out and watch in unravel. (click to enlarge)

ANDDDD a 400 lb. grouper!!  All the proper authorities were contacted and the grouper was released quickly and in the best condition possible.

We caught a 400 lb Goliath Grouper by mistake. A beautiful site for the students to see such an amazing creature, but we released it as soon as possible, minimizing any harm to the animal. Appropriate authorities were notified (click to enlarge)

Another picture of our Goliath Grouper caught by mistake in only 10 ft of water. Appropriate authorities were notified (click to enlarge)

I faintly remember coming to and sitting up to hear one of our fabulous crew members from South Broward say “Its something huge!” Dom yelled to everyone to have the satellite tagging gear ready, it was something big! I then proceeded to pass out again with a pounding headache and when I awoke again I saw pictures of a giant Goliath Grouper that had taken one of our baits (although I expected to see pictures of a satellite tagged shark). Weird. Anyway, we quickly let her go and that was that for the day. Success, for all but me, lol. 🙂

Thank you to all involved,

Virginia Ansaldi (Shark Intern)

2 replies
  1. Ted Davis
    Ted Davis says:

    Christopher Columbus once said “The sea will grant each man new hope and sleep brings dreams of home.” It was a well deserved rest Virginia. Thank you for your devotion!

  2. Chelsea Currie
    Chelsea Currie says:

    It was great to see a few of the pictures I took in this blog. Thank you guys for the amazing trip again. This time I got to see two awesome new things that I hadn’t before in their own environment: The 6 and 1/2 ft Goliath grouper and the incredibly intricate and beautiful basket star. As always, it was a great experience.


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