In late August, Paul Rogers from Flinders University joined scientists from NOAA/NMFS' Large Pelagics Group to conduct an annual juvenile shark survey in the Southern California Bight, which included tagging a variety of sharks with TOPP tags. Paul was kind enough to write up a wonderful series of articles about this work, each of which is accompanied by stunning photographs. Rather than putting up a single, giant blog, I am going to be putting the pieces up individually over the next few weeks -- so stay tuned and check back often for updates!
The NMFS team just completed its annual juvenile shark survey in the Southern California Bight. This area is an important nursery ground for blue, mako, white and thresher sharks, all of which are caught in local fisheries. Blue and mako sharks are the two species most commonly caught during this survey although we do occasionally catch mola mola, pelagic rays and thresher sharks as well. Through the survey we collect a range of biological and fisheries data and also deploy satellite tags in collaboration with the TOPP program.
Dave Holts, off Ucluelet, British Columbia. On Wednesday, July 25, we arrived at the fishing grounds at about 10:00 a.m. We baited and set 72 hooks out for 1.5 hours.
Dave Holts, off Ucluelet, British Columbia. At the crack of dawn on Saturday, July 21, we were off to the fishing grounds. The seas were a little milder -- 4-foot swells
Dave Holts, off Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada. – We’re here to catch at least 10 blue sharks greater than six feet long, and tag them with satellite and archival
Russ Vetter, Leg III SHARK CRUISE. On Thursday evening, we had just finished our last set and, in true Walt Disney fashion, we were about to clean up as the last hooks cam
Russ Vetter, Leg III SHARK CRUISE. Although humans are supposed to be rational, humans decide who lives and who dies based on the curious calculus of cuddly.
Russ Vetter, Leg III SHARK CRUISE. The surface waters of the open ocean are referred to as the “pelagic zone”, and it is hard for people who have never been out at sea
Russ Vetter, Leg III SHARK CRUISE. Sharks are tough animals and nothing about the gear that is used to catch and study them can be small or delicate.
Russ Vetter, Leg III SHARK CRUISE. Tanner Bank has been good to us, producing a variety of sharks and reasonably high catch rates.