Collaborative project with Bimini Shark Lab and Florida International University led by PhD student Maurits Van Zinnicq Bergmann
Understanding drivers of predator habitat and space use is increasingly important for predicting the consequences of accelerating environmental change and human activities on ecological communities. Through collecting tissue samples (e.g. blood, muscle and fin clips) of various transient and resident coastal shark species we can track diet, trophic position and resource partitioning across different spatio-temporal scales contributing important biological data.
Many elasmobranch populations are threatened worldwide by high rates of directed fishing and by-catch mortality in global fisheries, marine pollution, and habitat destruction. As such, dramatic declines have been reported from the world’s oceans. Juveniles of many shark species rely heavily on coastal habitats for survival, which are particularly prone to degradation by shoreline construction. Unfortunately, habitat loss due to anthropogenic development is occurring on a large scale, and coastal habitats in particular are at risk due to ever-increasing anthropogenic impact with ~40% of humans living within 100km of the coast. Taken together, overfishing, ocean pollution, and habitat loss have led to drastic declines in marine fish stocks, particularly for sharks, requiring the urgent need for collection of biological information on many shark species.
Assess dietary overlap and relationships between sharks and rays.