Ocean News


20th March 2009

That’s, Crime Scene Investigation; Cape Eleuthera Institute.

This morning, the body of a bull shark was found in a local marina.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened here at CEI, but strangely enough the last time it happened was when I was last here (I had nothing to do with it, I assure you).

It was decided that the body would be retrieved and taken back to the institute, to see if the cause of death could be determined.

The Bahamas is something of a safe-haven for sharks; long lining was banned here in 1993, which means there’s a real abundance and diversity of sharks. This is beneficial for the Bahamas as it brings millions of dollars into the economy through eco-tourism. The ban does not however provide holistic protection for sharks; its thought that the bull shark was killed by recreational fishermen.

It goes without saying that it was extremely sad seeing the bull shark dead for no reason whatsoever, especially after we’d had some amazing dives with bull sharks a week or so ago.

Ed Brooks gave a talk to students from theIsland School on shark biology and some of the conservation issues that sharks face during the dissection, which at least means it was possible to use the shark as an educational tool, and it wasn’t a complete waste.

I think the kids got the message, and were really sad to see the shark dead too.

Exact cause of death was difficult to determine. its thought that recreational fishermen caught the shark in the night, and then simply discarded the carcass in the marina. The shark would have fought long and hard to get off the line, eventually tiring and drowning after hours of fighting.

A very sad demise for such a perfect predator, but its important to remember that this happens thousands of times every day all over the world; an estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year by commercial longline fleets