Friends of the Environment Shark Course

Here are some photos of our recent course we did with Friends of the Environment focused on shark ecology and conservation. This two day course was inspired to help educate students on the importance of the recent shark ban that prohibits commercial shark fishing and promotes a catch and release recreational program nationwide here in The Bahamas. Further, the course went into detail on why sharks not only help maintain healthy fish populations through the direct consumption of their  prey, but the students learned  how the mere presence of sharks can be vastly important through altering their prey’s feeding behavior.

 

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During day one we learned about the various techniques for monitoring shark populations ending with a field trip into The Marls to get hands-on experience handling and collecting shark data. On day two, we ventured to Snake Cay to see how nearshore habitats (e.g., seagrass meadows, patch reefs, and mangroves) are important areas to protect as they are vital nursery systems for marine megafauna such as sharks. To help promote the East Abaco Proposed Parks, each student took footage underwater of what they thought best represented why Snake Cay is an important area to protect. This footage will be used in a larger educational video regarding marine conservation with the help of Save Our Seas Foundation.

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About the Author:

Enie Hensel
Broadly my interests lie in exploring the intertwining interactions between top-down and bottom-up mechanisms that have been anthropogenically impacted in coastal ecosystems. Currently, I am investigating how structure complexity and the presence of top predators affect patch reef fish communities in Abaco, The Bahamas.

3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Zoya Thompson July 29, 2015 at 10:35 am

    This was an awesome experience! One that I will never forget. My eyes were opened to the niche that each marine species plays, and without their presence the ecosystem will drastically be changed.

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    Perry Maillis July 30, 2015 at 7:53 am

    We have lots of Reef sharks and a few Lemons once in a while. I even swam with a 4ft Tiger Cub once. Sure was glad I didnt meet his Mommy or Daddy.(:

    Call us up if you would like to swim with them.

    Perry Maillis 426-7845 (message)

    Gilpin Point
    South Abaco

  3. Enie Buhler
    Enie Buhler August 6, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Zoya, I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it! I loved your enthusiasm during the course and hopefully I will see you next year!

    Perry, I bet you have some sharks down there. Thank you again for letting us visit Gilpin Point this summer

    Enie

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