Research explores recreational shark fishing's impact on protected species

Research explores recreational shark fishing's impact on protected species

November 3, 20232 min read

In Delaware, recreational shark fishing is popular, with anglers taking part in half- and full-day shark fishing trips. However, they are prohibited from keeping protected species of sharks.

A University of Delaware research team led by Aaron Carlisle, assistant professor in UD's School of Marine Science and Policy (SMSP), is studying the impact of releasing these sharks, aiming to understand their post-release survival and how fishing operations handle them. Carlisle, graduate student Bethany Brodbeck and Ed Hale, assistant professor and aquaculture specialist for Delaware Sea Grant, are conducting the field research for the study, riding along with recreational fishing vessels to better understand what happens to sharks when they are caught and released.

Another component to the research is being led by George Parsons, E.I. du Pont Professor at UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, who is looking at the economic aspect, using survey-based research to value the shark fishery and study anglers’ perceptions and attitudes toward sharks and their management.

Carlisle said the two concurrent studies will help gauge the biological and economic impacts of the shark fishery in Delaware.

“We want to find out how much money the fishery is actually drawing to the economy,” Carlisle said. “We also want to find out how the fishery is actually impacting the populations of sharks in Delaware, especially the protected ones.”

The research was funded by Delaware Sea Grant, which helps communities wisely use, manage and conserve coastal resources.

To arrange an interview with Carlisle, simply click on the link to his profile. Pressing the contact button and using the form will send your request directly to him and a member of UD's media relations team.

Connect with:
  • Aaron Carlisle
    Aaron Carlisle Assistant Professor, Marine Science and Policy

    Prof. Carlisle research focuses on how the environment and organismal biology interact to influence the ecology of species.

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