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Commercial Shark Fishery Observer Program

Observer Training

Biological Sampling: Cooperative Projects
Observers also collect biological samples for a variety of scientists worldwide as well as to enhance our ichythyology collection. This program is also involved in the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Cooperative Shark Tagging Program.

jaw dissection
Removing the jaw from a bonnethead shark © FLMNH

Documents regarding the collection of biological samples:















NMFS Cooperative Shark Tagging Program


tagging
Tagging a shark © FLMNH
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) launched its Cooperative Shark Tagging Program (CSTP) in 1962 in order to learn more about the movements and distribution of Atlantic sharks. For over 40 years the CSTP has provided dart tags to volunteering recreational and commercial fishers, as well as numerous scientific groups up and down the coast that regularly encounter sharks. Our observers have participated with the CSTP since the CSFOP was initiated in 1994. To date observers have tagged over 2,100 individual sharks, and recaptured more than 140. Of the sharks recaptured, some have been at liberty for more than 12 years, and traveled over 1,000 miles from where they were originally tagged. This type of information is most valuable to biologists and managers who wish to gain insight into the habits of these highly migratory species.

The CSTP is managed by the Apex Predators Program at the NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Narragansett, Rhode Island.

For further information, the official CSTP web site can be found at: http://na.nefsc.noaa.gov/sharks/intro.html

tagging
Shark tagging equipment © FLMNH