Wow. What A Way To End The Season!

Friday, December 9th 2011

For the last trip of the semester we headed out to the University of Miami’s field research station at Broad Key with members of the Board of Visitors from UM’s Rosenstiel School.  After Captain Curt, myself, Kyra, Evan and James set out the first 10 drumlines we met up with Dr. Hammerschlag, Dr. Kenny Broad, and the members of the board on the “Captain Gas” to finish our sampling.  The water was pretty rough that day, so we were happy to be on such a big, beautiful boat.

The excitement started almost immediately.  After pulling only a few lines, we had our first shark of the day: a beautiful baby tiger shark! You can easily tell a juvenile tiger shark from a full grown one by its pattern. Juveniles still show spots, while adult tiger sharks display their emblematic stripes.

Dr. Hammerschlag shows off our baby tiger shark ready for release. Click to enlarge.

Following shortly thereafter, we had a female black tip and a 6ft great hammerhead! Then, we pulled in yet another tiger shark!  This time, she was fully-grown, reaching almost 10 feet in length!  Finally, as we pulled in the very last drumline of the day, we had another incredible surprise.  This time, we had a 10ft great hammerhead shark!

By now, even those on the boat with us for the first time knew exactly what to do.  Members of the board and their family helped the interns and Dr. Hammerschlag work up the shark in record time and we released her into the water in great condition.  Two of our youngest participants of the day, Kat and Anthony, both 14 years old, had an incredible time and fearlessly helped take measurements with the help of our interns.

The team works up our first great hammerhead of the day with the help of board members and their families. Click to enlarge.

At the end of the day, Kat said that after this, she’d probably want to become a marine biologist when she grows up! This was the icing on the cake.

With five of the most beautiful sharks I’ve ever seen, this trip was a great way to wrap up the semester!  See you in the spring everyone!

Julia Wester, RJD Intern

6 replies
  1. Tina T
    Tina T says:

    “At the end of the day, Kat said that after this, she’d probably want to become a marine biologist when she grows up! This was the icing on the cake.”

    Wow. This honestly makes it all worth it. If we can all make a difference in just one child, we might be able to change the world just yet! More power to you all!

    Former activist, mommy and blogger

  2. bad credit auto loan USA
    bad credit auto loan USA says:

    Hello Julia, I appreciate you for taking time to post this blog along with the pictures. I enjoyed reading your blog and I think you would have really loved this trip as you have experienced it in reality. It is not only interesting to see the sharks but also it is quite interesting to see the deep sea. Have you gone for diving yet? if so please share the picture of the deep sea in your next blog…

  3. Elektronine cigarete
    Elektronine cigarete says:

    These are really nice pics. It is a pitty when I see people having that great time associated with their studies… Pitty because I do not have an ability to have the same. Anyway, glad to see someone is enjoying her studies!

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