Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type

Legacy Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Marine Science


College of Science

First Advisor

Daniel C. Abel


The shallow coastal waters of the temperate southeastern U.S. are utilized as habitat and nursery grounds by numerous species of sharks. Most of the studies along this section of the coast have concentrated their efforts on nearshore areas. The roles and relative importance of inshore estuarine environments as shark habitat and nursery grounds were examined in Bull's Bay, SC by Castro (1993), who found 9 species which utilized these waters as nursery grounds. Ulrich (U.S. Department of Commerce 2003) conducted the most extensive study of SC sharks and nurseries in Bulls Bay, St. Helena Sound, North Edisto Estuary, and off Charleston Harbor. From April to November 2001, he caught over 2,000 sharks in 11 species. Most recently, Yednock (2005) and Abel et al. (in press) found seven and ten species, respectively, in North Inlet and Winyah Bay, estuaries in northeast South Carolina. Their results suggested that sharks in North Inlet partitioned habitat by creek size and those in Winyah Bay divided habitat by salinity, depth, tides, and other factors. Neither study, however, had sufficient data to make firm conclusions. In this study, we collected and analyzed 4 years of data from Winyah Bay to address the question of how the four most abundant shark species in this system apportioned habitat space.