Steve Doctor, Fisheries Biologist
- Ocean City, MD
- Total Reports: 12
- View all reports by Steve Doctor →
Posted on , 2011 | Permalink
On Friday I was invited along on a shark tagging trip out of Ocean City. NMFS through its APEX predator program has been supplying tags to anglers to tag sharks since 1962 (http://na.nefsc.noaa.gov/sharks/intro.html). Unfortunately due to budget cuts the program is loosing funding and they are less able to supply tags. I went out with Captain Mark Sampson who has been the leader in shark conservation in Maryland since it was a concept. He has personally tagged over a thousand sharks and some of his returns have been from as far as the Azores and Spain. We were lucky enough to capture a sandbar shark. If you look at the photo closely you can see that the shark has been bit in the tail by another shark. Mark says that this has been occurring more frequently. We wondered is it because there are more sharks or do they maybe have less to eat?
You will also see a white piece of PVC in the photos. This is a blocker that Mark has developed to stop the sharks from swallowing the hook, thus preventing deep hooking. You can see it also worked on a Mahi that took shark bait. Marks latest push is to get people to use circle hooks when shark fishing. We discussed getting together to do a cooperative study as NMFS says there is no data on sharks and circle hooks at this time. Mark says they work well to prevent deep hooking in sharks. Mark has a webpage called bigsharks.com. There is a link to some video he recently shot of a Great White Shark that is supposed to be fantastic. He has been hanging a go pro camera from a kite to film and the video is great I hear.