Research

Shark and other game fish tournaments provide scientists with a source to collect biological data they would otherwise not have access to.  The sharks that are landed and brought to the dock during tournaments are in fact biologically processed. This biological processing has many facets that are all aimed to protect and conserve the local shark populations. For example, vertebrae are removed from the sharks spinal column so that age and growth can be assessed. The reproductive organs, are also removed to asses maturity and reproductive cycle status. Stomachs are removed to determine what the sharks are feeding on and to learn more about their tropic role in the local ecosystem. Muscle tissue for genetic analyses are also taken. This information is compiled and written as scientific manuscripts that are published in peer reviewed journals. This information is also used in management plans in order to ensure these species are not over fished and a balance between fishing and local shark populations is maintained. There is also a large tagging component to this tournament. For every one shark brought in for biological sampling, five or more are tagged and released.  This information can also be used scientifically as it gives an estimate of population size in the area and enables scientists to track movement patterns of those species. A new addition to this years tournament will be a hands on education component, where scientists will explain shark biology, the purpose of our dissections, and use of the sharks for biological purposes to the general public.