Shark Tagging With UM Alumni and Friends

by Kyra Hartog, RJD Intern

Saturday was a bittersweet day for me. While I was very excited to have one more shark tagging trip before finals, I started to realize that it was my last trip until August 2013, as I will be studying abroad in the spring. I was determined to enjoy the day to the fullest and had my fingers crossed for sharks. This trip was a change for the team as the R/V Endsley would leave from Virginia Key to set out lines around the end of Key Biscayne, near Bill Baggs State Park. Our group for the day was a mixture of UM alums and friends of the Rosenstiel School. We set off toward out sampling site and set the first 10 drumlines in minor sun showers. Luckily, the rain cleared out and the weather was beautiful for the rest of the day. Our first shark of the day was a beautiful nurse shark. The team quickly secured the shark and brought in the guests to assist in sampling of the nurse shark. Measurements were taken, as well as a fin sample and a blood sample. The nurse shark was tagged with a spaghetti tag and sent on its way. As lines were reset, we enjoyed a delicious catered lunch courtesy of Sidewalk Salads, thanks to the RSMAS Advancement Office!

The sampling continued with two beautiful blacktip sharks and a blacknose shark. Measurements, fin samples, muscle biopsies, and blood samples were taken and all sharks were tagged with spaghetti tags.

The RJD team works up a blacktip shark

As the last line was pulled in and the boat returned to Virginia Key, I became sad that my last trip for a while was over. I then thought of how grateful I am to have worked for such an amazing program with such a great team. Thanks to all who have participated with RJD for making it a great semester!


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