The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation Awards Research Grant to Dr. Neil Hammerschlag of the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program

Ft. Lauderdale, FL – July 25, 2011 – The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) is excited to announce it has awarded funding to Dr. Neil Hammerschlag of the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami for his research “Assessing the Cascading Ecosystem Impacts of Marine Apex Predator Declines”.

Dr. Hammerschlag aims to determine the effects of declining populations of tunas, billfish and sharks on the overall health of the ocean environment. This will be accomplished through a series of integrated field and laboratory studies including field surveys, stable isotope analysis, genetic studies and blood hormone analysis. The GHOF has previously partnered with Dr. Hammerschlag on several shark research projects and is pleased to once again, support his top-tier research.

Tiger Shark - Tiger Beach, Bahamas. Photo courtesy of Bill Watts.

“The ocean’s top predators are under unprecedented pressure from unsustainable fishing practices and changes in the ocean chemistry”, says world renowned marine artist and biologist Dr. Guy Harvey. “Neil’s research will give us great insight into how their removal will impact the entire marine ecosystem.” This project will build on previous research funded by the GHOF to promote the conservation and enhancement of the world’s pelagic fisheries.

A recent development among a tiger shark population being tracked by Dr. Hammerschlag within a separate study underscores the importance of this type of research. Cuban fisherman recently landed a tagged tiger shark in Caribbean waters and sold it to dealers who will ultimately send the shark to the Asian markets. Dr. Hammerschlag reports that over 10% of his tagged tiger sharks have now been killed by commercial fisherman. Visit the links below to see the interactive tracking maps of the remaining tagged sharks within the study:

Linda: Bahamas straight to Bermuda:
http://www.rjd.miami.edu/learning-tools/follow-sharks/track-linda.html

Dominic: Went from Berry Islands then straight to Bimini (been in Bimini for over a month now)
http://www.rjd.miami.edu/learning-tools/follow-sharks/track-dominic.html

Mary Kent: Just a big move to the middle of the Atlantic??
http://www.rjd.miami.edu/learning-tools/follow-sharks/track-mary-kent.html

About the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) funds inspired scientific research and innovative educational programs to encourage conservation and best management practices for sustainable marine environments. The GHOF will help ensure that future generations will enjoy and benefit from a naturally balanced ocean ecosystem where fish and other marine wildlife flourish.

About the University of Miami and the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. Founded in 2009, the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program is a joint program of the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami. The mission of the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program is to advance ocean conservation and scientific literacy by combining cutting edge research and outreach activities. For more information or to get involved, please visit www.rjd.miami.edu.

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