by Melissa Soto, RJD Intern
It was a beautiful Saturday Miami morning and adrenaline was in the air. Just 24 hours before, seven sharks were tagged and I felt it was going to be an exhilarating day. That morning, the RJD team loaded the boat as they always do and the guests for the trip boarded the ship. The ocean was multiple shades of blue and looked incredibly refreshing and inviting.
As we made our way out to deploy the buoys, people were enjoying the ocean all around. The 10 buoys we deployed and the anticipation to tag a shark rose even higher. A refreshing dip at a nearby reef served to pass the time, since we needed to wait an hour before checking the lines.
After checking a few of our lines, we finally had a shark! It was nurse shark, about two meters long. Once the team secured it on the platform, the work up began. The team took a fin clip sample, length measurements, blood work, photographs and then tagged the shark.
The team allowed the spectators for the day to get hands on and feel the shark. This really let them see the interesting variations shark skin texture. The team promptly released the shark as soon as possible back into the ocean.
The day started off like any other Miami summer day, but quickly turned gray in the afternoon with a storm approaching. As we continued to check the lines, we saw a bull shark was hooked. RJD followed the same procedures; did the work up and released the bull shark into the ocean as the seas were beginning to intensify.
The team decided to pick up the rest of the lines as the storm was upon us. In the interim two more sharks were caught, a nurse and another bull. The work up was done in a timely manner and the sharks were released back to their habitat.
Overall, it was a good day. Two females and two male sharks were tagged. Thank you Citizen Science for joining us and being such a great group!