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Shark Study Tracks, Tags Species to Assess Gulf Health

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Photo: Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald-Tribune via Mote Marine Lab
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A blacktip shark on deck for catch and release research by Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium.

More than thirty sharks were tagged along Florida's Gulf Coast earlier this month by a team of researchers and students as part of a study tracking the sharks' migration in the Gulf, and their impact on everything from ecosystems to the economics of Gulf fisheries.

Thursday at 1 p.m., Dr. Robert Hueter, director of the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, joins the program to discuss how one five-day trip supported multiple studies of blacktip, bull, blacknose, and tiger sharks, exploring how these animals' role as apex predators maintains healthy Gulf ecosystems with implications from fisheries to the environment.

Also joining the program is Dr. Jayne Gardiner, assistant professor of biology at New College of Florida, whose graduate and undergraduate students helped tag multiple species of shark with satellite transmitters to track their migration in the Gulf.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.