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From: Sonny Gruber <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 29 Jul 1996 22:17:34 -0400

TEXT/PLAIN (64 lines)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 1996 22:15:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sonny Gruber <[log in to unmask]>
To: Elasmo-l <[log in to unmask]>, elasmophiles <[log in to unmask]>,
    marbio <[log in to unmask]>
Cc: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]
Subject: exercise and electrolyte balance in lemon sharks
Hello All:  I am in great of advice.  It has to do with mortality
associated with our tracking project at Bimini.  It is an old problem that
I briefly tried solve several years ago but didn't get too far.  Here's
what happens:
We capture 150-210 cm lemon sharks in shallow water for our telemetry
tracking work.  The sharks are caught on longlines which soak up to 5
hours in between checking. Once caught, sharks are tied to the side of
the skiff, turned over into tonic immobility and have a thumb-sized 18
month identity transmitter implanted into their coelom.  We then follow
the shark for several hours to make certain the it is swimming well.
Several days later we attempt to recapture the shark to attach a
speed-sensing transmitter to its dorsal fin.  Here is where the trouble
comes in.  To recapture it, we search around and acquire its identity
signal.  Then using the acoustic signal, we motor up to the shark and
begin to chase it, keeping it in sight.  At first the shark tries to out
run us but tires rather quickly. Than it tries to out maneuver us.  When
that fails it will defend itself by attacking the skiff as a last
alternative.  All this can take up to 10 minutes.
When we think the shark is ready to defend itself, we poke it with a large
dip net which it bites fiercely and in so doing it gets its teeth caught
in the net.  We then quickly surround it with other dip nets and tie it to
the gunwhale of the skiff.  While slowly underway, we attach a kind of
harness/platform to the base of the dorsal fin and attach the speed
transmitter to this.  Then we visually track it for 6-8 hours to make sure
it swims.
OK thats what we do, but in rare instances, especially when the water is
shallow and hot the sharks become so stressed that they succumb.  We had
this happen the other day to an animal we had worked with for several
months.  This depressed everyone greatly since the 189 cm female was a
friend--well known to the entire staff.
HERE IS MY QUESTION: Does anyone out there in the fish world have a
suggestion as to a drug or perhaps a buffer solution I might use to
resuscitate these exhausted
sharks after the struggle?  Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.  I
will research and try the most promising one(s).  Thanks for your
attention to our problem.
Dr. Samuel H. Gruber
Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Miami
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami Florida 33149-1098
Bimini Biological Field Station
9300 SW 99 Street
Miami Florida 33176-2050
Voice Mail:  305 361 4146
Voice and fax:  305 274 0628
Home page:

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