Taking into account the local, regional, and global threats to sharks, the Shark Research and Conservation Program was developed to increase the capacity of basic and applied shark research in The Bahamas. Our research this spring is focused on the stress physiology of elasmobranchs. We are investigating the physiological and behavioral stress response of sharks to longline capture, as well as quantifying the effects of stress on the immune system of yellow stingrays.
Additionally, we are conducting studies pertaining to the basic spatial and temporal patterns of Caribbean reef sharks and oceanic whitetips, an important first step toward addressing the conservation needs of species that likely transcend many different coastal habitats and political boundaries. By identifying when and where Bahamian sharks are being targeted, international conservation and management plans can be developed.