Graduate Student Update: Brendan Talwar and longline post-release survivorship

CEI is lucky enough to host an array of graduate students conducting collaborative projects between us and their home institutions.  In this way we are able to maximize our facilities’ potential and to share it with a broader scientific community.

Cuban dogfish
The Cuban dogfish, a common bycatch in deep sea fisheries, is one of the two shark species with which Brendan’s study is concerned. Photo by B. Talwar.

Brendan Talwar, an MSc candidate at Florida State University’s Coastal and Marine Laboratory is currently working with CEI Shark Conservation and Research Program Manager Edd Brooks to assess the post-release survivorship of deep water shark species caught on longlines.  In an effort to better inform fisheries policies, Brendan hopes to look more closely at the effects of capture stress on Cuban dogfish and gulper sharks, two common bycatch species in deep sea fisheries, with the end goal of understanding why some sharks die while others survive during and after a capture event.

Recently, Brendan has been returning longline-caught sharks to the deep in a constructed cage and monitoring them for behavioral effects post-release.  Check out Brendan’s progress and the success of his caging experiments thus far in this post, where you can hear a bit more about the potential complications that predation may introduce as well as some broader implications of his work.

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