Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Marine Science


College of Science

First Advisor

Daniel C. Abel


Assessments of local shark stocks are vital to understand population trends and their causes. Local data are incomplete despite many studies over many years. The first published study listed all of the shark species found off the coast of SC (Bearden 1965). Following Bearden's work, Schwartz (2003) used a 30 year data set to describe the elasmobranchs found in NC and SC. In 2004, a survey of coastal habitats in southeast NC helped to identify the nursery habitat for C. acronotus, C. brevipinna, C. limbatus, C. obscurus, C. plumbeus, M. canis, R. terraenovae, S. tiburo, and S. lewini (Thorpe et al. 2004). Yednock (2005) and Maxwell (2008) described the elasmobranch fauna of North Inlet. Then, in 2007, Abel et al. collected 12 species of shark around the Winyah Bay area and 5 species in North Inlet using both longlines and trammel nets. Ulrich et al. (2007) also caught 12 shark species and identified the primary nursery areas for five in estuarine and near-shore zones of SC. The elasmobranch fauna of North and Murrell's Inlet were then compared by McDonough (2008). Coastal Carolina University began its own long-lining population survey in 2002 of Winyah Bay and monitored consistently until 2006. Many new findings came out of the first few years including 12 new species, the shark distribution, and salinity structure of the bay (Abel et al. 2007). This data set (Pankow and Abel Unpublished data), along with UNC's public data for 2006-2010 and data from Gary (2009) are the basis of this study. By examining size and diversity for recent years, important trends in the elasmobranch population can be identified and used to create management strategies on a local scale.

Included in

Oceanography Commons