Shark Tagging with Lauderdale Lakes

A successful day of shark tagging

by Hanover Matz, RJD intern May 13th, 2015. The sea was angry that day, my friends. Well, not quite angry-but the swells were a bit more than we usually bargain for. However, that did not stop the RJD team and the students from Lauderdale Lakes from having a fantastic day of shark tagging. We met at Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures for an exciting day out on the M/V Shear Water. As we loaded the gear onto the boat, we added extensions to our drumlines for deep water fishing offshore, hoping to catch a variety of shark species. The RJD team … Continue reading

Shark tagging with Empowered Youth

RJD intern Hanover draws blood from a shark’s caudal vein

by Alison Enchelmeier, RJD student On Saturday morning I headed over to Crandon Marina. As I drove down the causeway, the weather promised a great day with not a cloud in the sky. Our guests for the day were a brand new group, Empowered Youth, and several family members of graduating interns. With our gear loaded onto the boat and everyone excited for tagging we headed out to the Belzona wreck. On the trip out, Jake explained what we would be doing and how our guests would be helping us with our research. We set our lines east of the … Continue reading

Recreational angling intensity correlates with alteration of vulnerability to fishing in carnivorous coastal fish species

Histogram of latency time in seconds for S. scriba (left panel) and D. annularis (right panel). The inset panels show the proportion of captured (black) and non-captured (grey) in high and low intensity fishing environments for both fish species.

by Dani Escontrela, RJD intern Fish behavior affects the vulnerability they have to fishing gear and therefore is a key player in determining and moderating the impacts of fishing on wild populations. In a theory known as the foraging arena theory it is explained that behavioral adaptation is driven by two main forces: predation risks caused by natural predators or by fishing. To avoid predation fish will cluster into two groups, one in which they are vulnerable or one in which they are invulnerable to predation. The decision to go into one of these groups will determine the proportion of … Continue reading

The Intrinsic Vulnerability to Fishing of Coral Reef Fishes and Their Differential Recovery in Fishery Closures


By Gabi Goodrich, RJD intern Coral reefs have long been regarded as the treasure of the sea. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing but also are used as a staple in fishing ventures. However, biodiversity is an essential part of the ecosystems health. Strong biodiversity is critical for the upkeep of many ecosystem functions such as chemical composition of the waters and atmosphere, biomass creation and regulation of flora and fauna, nutrient cycling, and overall health of the individual species in said ecosystem. When biodiversity decreases because populations do not have a chance to recover as a result of intensive … Continue reading

Practical Management of Cumulative Anthropogenic Impacts with Working Marine Examples


By Robbie Roemer, RJD student Paper by Andrew Wright and Line Khyn Technological advances as well as the need for energy exploration and natural resource utilization have intensified and expanded anthropogenic pressures on the environment. Nowhere are these pressures more prevalent than the marine coastal areas of the globe; fisheries, offshore renewable energy sources, and the ever-increasing demand for petroleum are the highest contributing factors.  This increase in activity subsequently surges the magnitude, extent, and time-interval of adverse effects to the marine biotic ecosystem. Recently there has been a major shift in the strategy of ecosystem management, including ecosystem based … Continue reading

Effects of Global Warming on Polar Bears in the Arctic

Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

by Dani Ferraro, RJD intern Global warming and the loss of Arctic sea ice is affecting populations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in Hudson Bay. Localized rises in sea surface temperatures (SST) have lead to mortality events and habitat changes for several marine species (Dulvy et al. 2008). While some species have adaptations that allow them to tolerate warming events, the loss of habitat and consequent die-offs of prey species is devastating.  The Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL), the second largest inland sea in the world and home to polar bears, has warmed approximately three degrees Celsius since the 1990s (Ruhland … Continue reading