Current Projects

  • Fishery-independent surveys and sampling of sharks in the eastern Gulf of Mexico
    Led by Mote Marine Laboratory

    This 2019-2020 project is elucidating the distribution, habitats, species composition, biology and relative abundance of large and small coastal sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, building on a decade of previous fisheries-independent surveys conducted by Mote's Center for Shark Research  off southwest Florida in the 2000s. The project conducts quarterly, five-day, catch-and-release surveys designed to: document all catch; collect data including species identification, sex and body measurements; attach scientific tags for shark identification and/or tracking; and conduct biological sampling. Catch rate data for major species will be log-transformed and compared between strata (season, depth, time-of-day and location) using a Generalized Linear Model approach. Results will be compared with those from the 2000s surveys to detect changes in relative abundance. In addition, the data from the new surveys and the 2000s surveys will be compared with catch data from the same location collected in the 1950s-1960s to detect changes in shark species composition, sizes, and seasonality in the eastern Gulf of Mexico over the past 50-65 years.  All data will be provided to NOAA Fisheries NMFS for developing indices of abundance of large and small coastal sharks, for stock assessment purposes.

Other Mote Research Programs View All