Tiger shark population structure, habitat usage, and ecological role in the waters around Bimini, Bahamas

Project Description

Tiger sharks are highly migratory apex predators and important to the health of marine ecosystems. The Bahamas recognizes the important role sharks play and has closed its waters to all forms of shark harvest. Highly migratory sharks are still susceptible to harvest once they leave the protection of Bahamian waters. Bimini lies less than 50 miles to the east of Florida and 25 miles from US federal waters. Tiger sharks have been documented traveling more than 1000 miles and it is probable many of them frequently travel between Bahamian and US waters where they do not receive the same protection. Neonate and juvenile tiger sharks are frequently observed in the waters around Bimini and it is hypothesized this area may be serving as an important nursery grounds for tiger sharks in the region.In the 1990s Dr Samuel Gruber established the Bimini Biological Field Station (aka Sharklab) to study sharks around Bimini. Since that time the Sharklab has been at the forefront of shark research and conservation. This project will be based from the Sharklab.

Research Team

Principal Investigator

Matthew Smukall

M.S. Student

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Co-Principal Investigator

picture of Andrew "Andy" Seitz

Andrew "Andy" Seitz

Associate Professor
Specialties:
  • Fish behavior
  • fish migration
  • behavioral ecology
  • electronic tagging
acseitz@alaska.edu
(907) 474-5254
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Project Funding

Bimini Biological Field Station
Start Date: 2015-07-00 End Date: 2017-12-00

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