The goal of RJD’s work in the field, classroom and lab is to generate the science needed to advance ocean conservation.
We’re all Connected
NOTE: When you come across this box throughout the RJD website, take a second to read how that specific project or aspect of the Program connects back to conservation.
Over the past 50 years, we have learned more about our oceans, estuaries, rivers and lakes than ever before, while at the same time degrading, overfishing and destroying these vital systems. Every year, over 1.5 billion hooks are set in the ocean to commercially target large pelagic predators including tunas and billfish, catching and killing them faster than they can reproduce resulting in drastic worldwide declines of many species. With changes in global climate, the chemistry of our oceans is changing and corals are bleaching. Not only is the mystery and beauty of these systems and species being lost, but also their functions within the ecosystem. The web of life that sustains us is deteriorating. To aid in understanding and addressing these issues, we are conducting a variety of innovative research projects in collaboration with various University and community partners.
Hard-Hitting Data Influences Policy
RJD research generates data that helps managers make informed policy decisions with respect to implementing effective conservation strategies. Although we actively engage in conservation science, we are not an activist group.
In 2011, our scientists stood before the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to present the data from our satellite tagging research on Hammerhead and Tiger sharks. These findings directly influenced the FWC decision to add these two species of sharks to the list of protected fish within Florida State Waters. To learn more about the ruling, please click HERE.
We choose to focus our scientific efforts on addressing timely conservation issues. We tackle questions that need solutions, and do so with the utmost care and respect for all living creatures.