Presentation Title

Shark Diversity and Relative Abundance at Myrtle Beach, SC Fishing Piers

Presentation Type

Presentation

Full Name of Faculty Mentor

Dan Abel, Marine Science

Major

Marine Science

Presentation Abstract

Fishing piers offer structural habitats and foraging opportunities for smaller fish species. In turn, these species, as well as bait from fishers and entrails from cleaning their catch can attract sharks. This abundance of sharks around piers, however, is relatively understudied. We assessed shark occurrence for three months at five local SC fishing piers to address these knowledge gaps. At each pier, abundance counts were recorded along with water quality parameters to better understand drivers of shark presence and behavior. Photos and videos were also taken for better identification of abundance counts to species. We found that shark abundance is influenced by temperature, tidal stage, and salinity. These results correlate with the migratory pattern of local shark species in relation to changing seasons. Of the 30 local sharks species seen off the SC coast, only Blacktip and Sandbar sharks were observed in this study. This study is important to understand if water quality parameters are significantly influencing shark presence, or if fisherman bait is the only factor.

Location

Room 1

Start Date

21-4-2021 2:30 PM

End Date

21-4-2021 2:50 PM

Disciplines

Oceanography

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Apr 21st, 2:30 PM Apr 21st, 2:50 PM

Shark Diversity and Relative Abundance at Myrtle Beach, SC Fishing Piers

Room 1

Fishing piers offer structural habitats and foraging opportunities for smaller fish species. In turn, these species, as well as bait from fishers and entrails from cleaning their catch can attract sharks. This abundance of sharks around piers, however, is relatively understudied. We assessed shark occurrence for three months at five local SC fishing piers to address these knowledge gaps. At each pier, abundance counts were recorded along with water quality parameters to better understand drivers of shark presence and behavior. Photos and videos were also taken for better identification of abundance counts to species. We found that shark abundance is influenced by temperature, tidal stage, and salinity. These results correlate with the migratory pattern of local shark species in relation to changing seasons. Of the 30 local sharks species seen off the SC coast, only Blacktip and Sandbar sharks were observed in this study. This study is important to understand if water quality parameters are significantly influencing shark presence, or if fisherman bait is the only factor.

https://digitalcommons.coastal.edu/ugrc/test1/test1track/48