Monday, April 18, 2011

We're gonna need a bigger boat...

So today we went longlining.  Our ultimate goal is to capture larger sawfish to put satellite tags on.  Our day started at the lab at 6:30 a.m.  We were soon on the road, and headed down to launch at Punta Rassa, which is very near Sanibel.  We passed under the Sanibel Causeway and made our way to our first spot, which was in sight of the Sanibel Pier.  Our next two samples sites were off of Knapps Point (known for its larger sharks!)  The photo below is off of Knapps Point.  That's one of the floats for the longline - the line itself is 2500' long.

It's a rarity to capture a sawfish on our longline, but when we're off the coast of Sanibel, we're almost guaranteed to see some big sharks!  We set the line, and wait an hour for it to soak.  After an hour, the fun begins!  The first big shark of the day was a gorgeous 7-8 foot lemon!  We measure the sharks, take a quick genetics sample, and let them go on their way.  After the excitement of the lemon, we caught a good-size hammerhead and a couple big nurse sharks!  We also caught a handful of smaller sharks, such as blacktips and sharpnose.  Apparently there were a few other LARGE sharks down there.  We pulled up this poor guy, and were reminded that there's always a bigger fish:

In the end, we didn't capture what we were after, but we still got some good science done!

1 comment:

  1. That is why I do not go into the ocean anymore.