Ocean News

The Island School Shark Team Fall 2008

27th November 2008

One of the most unique things about the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) is its direct connection to education through its sister organization, The Island School.  The Island School is a semester based study abroad program for US and Bahamian high school students.  One of the core aspects of The Island School curriculum is the collaborative research programs with CEI.  This program allows small groups of students a chance to be involved with real life primary research.  Six of this semester’s students have been out and about with the CEI shark team running baited video sets and hauling longlines, learning about the research process, sharks and shark research as they go.  They have been a great team this semester…….

Hi everyone, we are the shark crew (Todd Carson, Vatasha White, Valerie Zhao, Alexa Lesenskyj, Patrick Lamontagne, and Melanie Koch). This year we explored the non-invasive method, Baited Remote Underwater Surveys vs long lining, and the invasive method. Our hypothesis was that longline  and BRUVS would reflect the same trends of relative abundance between zones and seasons. We did multiple trials, gathering  data using both methods. At the end we looked for the trends in relative abundance that was reflected throughout both methods. We have seen many cool things out on the water; 335cm Tiger shark, Reef sharks taking our entire bait bag on a video set, a Nurse shark taking our entire bait arm during another, two different Hammerhead sharks (about ten feet each) caught on both long lining and BRUVS, and much more. Our hypothesis was supported with the spring semester’s data. We had a lot of fun running both of these trials and creating presentations for both our parents and researchers. It is all thanks to our advisors Edward Brooks, Julia Spaet, Gerrit Nanninga, Chris Berry, and Krista Sherman.