Measuring Young-of-the-year Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

Measuring Young-of-the-year Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Sphyrna lewini

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The Shark Population Assessment Group at the NOAA Fisheries Service Panama City Laboratory is responsible for the assessment of shark populations in US Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico waters. Main activities of the group include demographic modeling and stock assessment, but fisheries, biological, and ecological work is also conducted in support of these activities.

Current fishery-related research includes an ongoing fishery-independent index of juvenile shark abundance in the coastal northeastern Gulf of Mexico, the development of shark recruitment indices, an observer program to estimate catch and bycatch in the directed shark gillnet fishery along the southeastern US Atlantic coast, an observer program to monitor the commercial shark bottom longline fishery, and updates on the population status of several prohibited shark species.

Biological research includes several aspects of elasmobranch life history such as age and growth, bioenergetics, delineation of Essential Fish Habitat, diet and foraging ecology, distribution and movement patterns, and reproduction. In addition, the group is becoming more involved in ecosystem modeling and ecosystem-based fishery management.

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