by Melissa Soto, RJD intern
It was a hot and sunny Thursday morning as I drove down to Key Biscayne to meet the rest of RJD at the marina. Once all the RJD members arrived, we filled the boat up with the equipment and waited for our spectators. As soon as they stepped off their school bus, IMPACT was filled with enthusiasm and energy.
As the boat took off from the marina, RJD members explained what IMPACT would do for the day. They would help RJD in the work up of the sharks, which consist of measuring different lengths, testing for nictitating membranes, tagging the shark, gathering a fin clip sample and more!
Our day started off a bit slow but then we caught a Nurse Shark. The shark was 127 cm so the work up was done very calmly and quickly. Within minutes the shark was back in the water swimming freely.
Next we reeled in a Black Tip shark. This shark was also quite small. We had the students come up and help collect our data research. Most of these children had never seen a shark before. This moment created so much excitement and joy in their lives.
Our next two sharks were Great Hammerheads. The first one was 250 cm and the second was 202 cm. The work up was done in a timely fashion and both sharks were released unharmed.
Overall, this was an incredible day. IMPACT is always a phenomenal group to have on our trips, as they are always ready to go and see what’s out there. We cannot wait to have you on our next trip!