Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Legacy Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Marine Science


College of Science

First Advisor

Daniel C. Abel


The shark populations of Winyah Bay, a 65 km2 estuary in northeast South Carolina, were surveyed from May-November of 2002, 2003, and 2004. 351 longlines, with 16/0 or 12/0 hooks, were set to detennine shark utilization of this estuary as a nursery. In 2002, 200 sharks (33 adults, 156 juveniles/young-of-year/neonates and 11 unmeasured) representing 10 species were caught. In 2003, 72 sharks (14 adults, 53 juveniles/young-of-year/neonates, and 5 unmeasured) representing 4 species were caught. In 2004, 105 sharks (39 adults, 59 juveniles/young-of-year/neonates, and 7 unmeasured) representing 7 species were caught. Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) for all sharks caught in Winyah Bay was significantly different between the years, with 2002 and 2004 having higher CPUEs then 2003. There was no significant difference in CPUE between lower and middle bay sites in 2002 and 2004, but CPUE in middle bay was significantly lower than lower bay in 2003. Immature sharks of seven species were caught in 2002, three species in 2003, and four species 2004. The presence of adults, juveniles, YOY, and/or neonates often species of sharks identifies Winyah Bay as a shark habitat and possible primary and secondary nursery for these species.