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Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

What impact does catch and release fishing have on sharks?

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catch and release fishing

Catching fish with the sole purpose of release is seen by some as an alternative to catch-and-kill fishing, and has become a popular recreational activity in itself. Sharks are often the target, and given their ecological importance, it’s important to consider any potential impacts that this style of fishing may have.

Data regarding mortality rates of catch and release on sharks are scant, however it’s estimated that mortality from capture from scientific research is ~10 % for sharks in general, and may be higher for sport fishing due to longer ‘fight’ times and extended time out of the water. Indeed, a study of juvenile lemon sharks in the Bahamas, found that ~12 % of released sharks died in the 15 minute monitoring period following release, and on the east coast of Australia 6 out of 8 necropsied grey nurse sharks were found to have internal hooks despite having no external signs of fishing gear. Severe injuries and infections have been documented in grey nurse sharks as a result of catch and release, although the long term sub lethal impacts of such maladies are unclear.

catch and release fishing

Sharks are keystone predators that have a disproportionate influence on the health and stability of their environments, and globally their numbers are in decline. While it’s not clear whether injuries or the relatively low mortality rates from recreational fishing can affect marine ecosystems as whole, current data suggests that outcomes for sharks can be improved with shortened fight and handling times. As scuba-enthusiasts and stewards of the ocean, it’s up to us to make a conscious effort to interact with the ocean and its inhabitants in a way that’s not destructive, and that may mean modifying the way we approach even catch and release fishing.

 Find out more about the work that Dr. Kelli Anderson is involved in at www.mymarineconnection.org.

Photos by John Gransbury taken at Fish Rock Cave, South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia.

Dr. Kelli Anderson is a marine biologist who has worked on aquaculture and marine conservation projects in several countries including Australia, France, the United States and Madagascar. Kelli has also worked as a commercial diver and divemaster, is a keen underwater photographer, and runs a small non-profit based in Australia.

Marine Life & Conservation

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Paul Rose

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Next in a new series of podcasts shared by our friends Gemma and Ian aka The BiG Scuba Podcast…

Ian and Gemma chat to Paul Rose. A man at the front line of exploration and one of the world’s most experienced divers, field science and polar experts, Paul Rose helps scientists unlock and communicate global mysteries in the most remote and challenging regions of the planet.

He is an experienced television presenter and radio broadcaster. With a proven track record in business engagements, Paul is a sought-after speaker, chairman, host and moderator for industry, government and NGO events.

Former Vice President of the Royal Geographical Society(link is external) and Chair of the Expeditions and Fieldwork Division, Paul is currently Expedition Leader for the National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions.

He was the Base Commander of Rothera Research Station, Antarctica, for the British Antarctic Survey for 10 years and was awarded HM The Queen’s Polar Medal. For his work with NASA and the Mars Lander project on Mt Erebus, Antarctica, he received the US Polar Medal.

Paul is a mountain and polar guide leading Greenland Icecap crossing and mountaineering expeditions and polar science support logistics. He worked for four years as a Mountain Safety consultant to the oil industry in the Middle East.

On his 2012 Greenland expedition, Paul led the first expedition to successfully traverse a new 275km icecap route of Knud Rasmussen Land and repeated his first ascent of the north face of Gunnsbjørnfjeld, the highest mountain in the Arctic.

His professional diving work includes science support diving in Antarctica as the British Antarctic Survey’s Institute Diving Officer. He ran the US Navy diver training programme at Great Lakes Naval Training Centre and trained many emergency response dive teams including the Police, Fire Department and Underwater Recovery Teams. He remains a current and active PADI Dive Instructor.

Find out more about Paul Rose at www.paulrose.org


Find more podcast episodes and information at www.thebigscuba.com and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

How can we do what you do at Blue Planet?

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We at Blue Planet Aquarium usually get asked how people can do what we do; this question usually comes from young adults and children who are dreaming of careers in Marine Biology or Diving, and we make sure to help along the way as much as we can.

If you ask anyone in the industry how they got to where they are, you will always hear a different story, you will hear similarities but there will always be something different. Thus, I would always suggest for people to carve their own path in the industry, and of course this industry is huge with many different areas and avenues for you to go down, which is also what makes the industry so amazing, it allows everyone to have a speciality and to be able to do their part for the single goal of preserving our natural world.

Working as a Diver at Blue Planet is amazing for anyone who wants to make a career in the industry, for several reasons, it is good as it helps you gain diving experience both with animals and teaching students. It gives you chance to practice diving skills in what could be considered difficult diving due to the tasks we have to carry out, and it also allows you to learn about HSE regulations and laws which also helps makes you safe and aware.

Here at Blue Planet, we have people spanning a multitude of different careers, from Marine Biology, Military Diving, Photography and Dive Guiding, it is this that makes the team so amazing as we have a go to person for everything.

The best advice I can give to anyone who wanted to work on the dive team or in an aquarium, would be to have a decent amount of diving experience and be able to demonstrate good diving knowledge, along with being respectful to the environment and animals and being able to work well in a team. It is also helpful to be outgoing and confident as although we work behind the scenes, we are still in the view of guests when we do our feeds or public dives.

For more information about Blue Planet Aquarium please visit their website by clicking here.

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