The University of Miami’s research team traveled to Key Largo to jump on Captain Slate’s boat for a hopeful day of shark tagging. A group of eager sophomores from MAST high school joined us on our expedition. It was a beautiful, sunny, and clear day; the water was clam, and it seemed like our odds were in our favor to catch a jubilee of sharks.
Daniela, Julia, Evan, Fiona, and I, led by our fearless leader Austin, released the first ten drumlines. After pulling in a couple lines, we got our first catch of the day! A large adult nurse shark was brought on board. The MAST high school students were delighted to conduct research, interact in the sampling process, and observe a shark so close up and personal. Everyone on the boat had high spirits and was ready to tag more sharks.
Unfortunately, we realized our success might have been short lived. After letting out the second and third set of ten drumlines, we wound up empty “hooked”. I guess the infamous “shark dance” failed today.
Regardless of the quantity of sharks that we tagged today, the quality of the experience was irreplaceable. Hopefully these unforgettable memories will promote a passion for conservation in the MAST high school students.
Laurel Zaima, RJD Intern