Not a Very Sharky Day


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.

The RJD team with a large nurse shark

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

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