During the SEA TURTLE trip, we had the good fortune to visit the Bimini Biological Field Station - otherwise known as the "shark lab" on the island. We learned a great deal about shark biology, shark conservation and shark tagging techniques. We also got to walk out into the shallows to see the pens where they house juvenile sharks for research purposes. (The sharks aren't harmed during their studies.)
The field station does a lot of work with a very small budget (something I can certainly relate to!) Here's the entry into the field station:
Here's the SEA TURTLE team (including Capt. John on the right) outside the shark lab:
The principal investigator of the shark lab, Kristine, spent time with us to explain the work they do at the station. They tag sharks to understand their distribution and migratory patterns. They look at where sharks go as juveniles and as adults. They study their diets and how humans have impacted sharks in Bimini. We learned how the mangroves were ripped out when construction began on a new hotel and how that negatively affected the shark population in Bimini. (And as we all know, we need healthy sharks to have a healthy marine environment!)
After our lecture inside the lab, we ventured out to the shark pens where they currently have juvenile lemon sharks and nurse sharks (but no turkey sharks ;-)
Here's a juvy lemon that Kristine brought over to us.
And here's a short movie that shows some of the interesting information that Kristine shared with us:
It was an amazing morning. Personally, I had always wanted to visit the shark lab and it was one of the highlights of the trip for me. We are very grateful for the time that Kristine spent with us. Thank you shark lab!