Shark tagging with Grand Classroom Ohio

A hammerhead shark swims off after workup

by Alison Enchelmaier, RJD student On Thursday morning I drove to Crandon Marina, wide awake thanks to the full travel mug of coffee in the cup holder. No matter how many times I’ve been on the boat I’m excited, as every trip is a new and thrilling experience. That morning the whole team seemed to be full of energy as we loaded our gear on to the boat, excited for the trip ahead. At 9 am we were joined by our guests, a group of Grand Classroom students from Ohio. As we headed out to our tagging location we talked … Continue reading

Shark Tagging with Aventura City of Excellence School

This upside-down view of a Nurse shark's mouth reveals adaptations for hunting crustaceans, a preferred prey group. The barbels near the nostrils are sensory organs and the small but powerful mouth is filled with tiny teeth, all designed to pulverize the hard shells of crabs and lobsters.

by Emily Rose Nelson, RJD student After collecting gear from RSMAS I met up with the rest of the team at the dock of divers paradise. We had a great crew on board and everyone was excited to get out there. Our guests for the day, students from the Aventura City of Excellence School, made their way on board and immediately I could feel their excitement. There definitely was something in the air telling me it was going to be a great day on the water. We were fishing at a sight our team has nicknamed “Sandbar Palace.” It is … Continue reading

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