Protecting sharks from population decline has never been more important.
Shark researcher Andy Nosal, a recent CMBC graduate, is now Birch Aquarium’s DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow for Ecology & Conservation. He seeks to reduce the threats such as overfishing, finning, and negative public perception facing these essential marine predators.
Sharks migrating between California and Baja California, Mexico, are threatened by commercial fishing activity in both countries. Shark expert Dan Cartamil explores the ecology and behaviors of these fascinating animals, and studies issues relevant to the sustainability of our local shark populations.
The elasmobranch (sharks and rays) research program at CMBC, funded primarily by a Moore Family Foundation award to conduct studies on the behavior, ecology and conservation of elasmobranchs in California and Mexico. Over the past year, Cartamil and Nosal have been doubletagging several elasmobranch species with both acoustic and satellite telemetry transmitters, to understand their movement patterns and habitat use within the La Jolla Ecological Reserve and over larger spatial scales. Genetics studies are currently being conducted on common thresher sharks to investigate their population structure in the eastern Pacific, and the fishery management implications of such. In addition, field work has included collection of tissue samples from soupfin sharks, bat rays, and shovelnose guitarfish in the U.S. and Mexico, to expand our genetics studies on these species. Other current projects include the production of a conservation photography website and book (titled ‘Baja’s Wild Side’) by Daniel Cartamil. Both Cartamil and Nosal have been highly active in outreach efforts, educating the local community about shark conservation issues.