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

Shark tagging with South Broward High School

A student helps with the nictitating membrane reflex test which helps assess stress levels

by Daniela Escontrela, RJD Intern I was out on the boat for another day of shark tagging. I was excited because I hadn’t been out much this semester and wanted to see what the day would bring. This was a particularly happy day for me because my mom would be going on the boat with me. After three years with the program she had only seen what I did once before so I had high hopes for the day. Once we go to Crandon Marina we loaded gear onto the boat and did the usual pre trip checklist. Soon enough … Continue reading

Effects of temperature and CO2 increases on Sargassum Seaweed Communities

Photo by University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

by Alice Schreiber, RJD intern Located within the North Atlantic Gyre is a floating ecosystem of brown algae called Sargassum. The seaweed forms clumps the size of fists, or larger raft-like clusters that group together forming a biodiverse habitat, extending up to 100 miles or more, in a place that is otherwise oligotrophic, or lacking in life sustaining nutrients. This mass of algae has come to be known as The Sargasso Sea. The Sargasso Sea has been designated as “essential fish habitat” and provides a high-productivity location for pelagic fishes and seabirds to feed and spawn. Pelagic Sargassum is a … Continue reading

Shark Tagging with Trinity Prep

A student from Trinity Prep takes fin clip

by Pat “Banana” Goebel, RJD student When I woke up on Saturday morning, I was really excited to be going shark tagging. I couldn’t wait to go on a trip with Trinity Prep as their students are always engaged and willing to help. I snagged everything I needed for the day and headed down to Miami. Little did I know I would be returning from this trip with the nickname “banana.” The team arrived at Diver’s Paradise at 8 am to load the fishing gear onto the boat. After a few sips of coffee, everyone was ready for an excellent … Continue reading

Can Recreational Fishing Exist in Urban Societies?

Recreational fishing is used as a sport and way to relax by people across the globe. (Wikimedia Commons)

By Emily Rose Nelson, RJD student Recreational fishing is defined as “fishing of aquatic animals that do not constitute the individual’s primary resource to meet basic nutritional needs are not generally sold or otherwise traded on markets,” or simply put, fishing for fun. Anywhere from 220 to 700 million people participate in recreational fishing worldwide. At least 118 million of those people are from the modern industrial world, residing in North America, Europe, and Oceania. A recent study in Fisheries Management and Ecology attempts to explain the inconsistencies in recreational fishing participation rates across industrialized countries. Arlinghaus et al. performed … Continue reading

Shark Tagging with Cadillac Fairview

Up close and personal with the eye of a blacktip shark

By Samantha Owen, RJD intern RJD had another successful day on the water last Friday.  Our enthusiastic guests from Cadillac Fairview met us at the Diver’s Paradise dock early in the morning.  After a quick safety briefing from Captain Nick and an overview of our research methods and expectations for the day by Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, we set out from Crandon Marina for an exciting day of shark tagging. Due to recent successes in the area, we decided to fish just off Key Biscayne near Bill Baggs State Park.  With the help of Cadillac Fairview, we deployed our first 10 … Continue reading