Monday, May 10, 2010

Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge: combines research with catch-and-release event

RTSea has been a supporter of the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative (SFMI), which takes an incremental approach to re-educating sport fishermen as to the value of living sharks - as opposed to dead, trophy animals - through the use of catch-and-release techniques. While it would be great to have sport fishermen stop fishing sharks altogether, such an all-or-nothing approach would not find a receptive audience, and so the SFMI transitional strategy has found support from many participating marinas and organizations like the Humane Society of the United States.

Another SFMI supporter, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, conducts a major shark fishing tournament that is not only a catch-and-release event, but also works with research organizations like the Mote Marine Laboratory. At the start of this year's Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge, a large female bull shark was tagged and it's location is being regularly tracked. This kind of data allows researchers to better understand the shark's travel/migratory behavior and what risks it is exposed to as it travels through various territorial waters - meaning various commercial shark fishing areas.

Here's is a recent update posted by SharkDivers:

Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge - Tagged Shark Moving Fast

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge
represents a radical change in shark tournament modeling.

Combining shark research and best shark fishing practices the ultimate goal for this tournament is to promote "change from within" the sport-caught shark fishing industry.

A recently tagged female bull shark (perhaps gravid) is now making tournament shark fishing history in Florida waters as she reports her position to Mote Marine Labs and waiting researchers.


On the first day of the Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge (May 1, 2010), a large bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) was caught by tournament competitor Bucky Dennis. This adult female was possibly pregnant and an ideal candidate for satellite tagging by Mote Marine Lab's research team. The tag was attached to the shark's first dorsal fin such that it would be able to transmit whenever the shark was at the surface of the water. These transmissions provide precise location and movement information that will contribute to our understanding of the habitat preferences of this important marine predator.

For more information and to view her daily track go here.

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