What is a shark survey, and why do marine biologists capture and release wild sharks? In this Sharks Unknown video from PBS Terra, “Traffic Jam”: Inside a Biscayne Bay Shark Survey, shark scientists Jasmin Graham and Amani Webber-Schultz take students on a boat trip in Biscayne Bay to collect data on these enigmatic fish. Show host Graham, who specializes in elasmobranch ecology and evolution, explains:
“Participants are going to learn a lot of really cool things. They’re going to learn how to do what’s called a long line. They’re going to learn how to set drum lines… They’re going to learn how to take scientific data from sharks, including measurements, tagging fin clips, muscle biopsy, and they’ll also get to watch how we draw blood.”
The data gathering process only temporarily detains the sharks and doesn’t harm them.
The marine biologists, who are trailblazing co-founders of the not-for-profit organization Minorities in Shark Sciences, are leading the Diversifying Ocean Sciences workshop, an initiative to provide research experience to women and gender minorities of color.
But as shown in the video, the team is in a race against time “to capture and release as many sharks as possible to provide data for long-term studies of Biscayne Bay’s ecosystem.” And there are a number of sharks in the queue. Noted species include the blacknose shark, blacktip shark, nurse shark, and bonnethead shark.
Watch more from the Sharks Unknown series at PBS Terra.
Then enjoy these marine biology, shark, women in STEM, and Black and STEM videos on TKSST, including:
• Five big sharks that help keep our oceans healthy
• How do sharks hunt in forests?
• Can a robot octopus help a real octopus escape blacktip sharks?
• Adania Flemming, Fish Whisperer, on Becoming Visible
• What is an Animal? Rae Wynn-Grant explains with Crash Course Zoology