Researchers seek way to avoid vulnerable species

When fishermen are at sea to catch monkfish, fluke or other commercial seafood, much larger fish can unintentionally wind up in their nets. Hauling in sand tiger sharks and Atlantic sturgeon can be particularly problematic—not only are they big, they are protected by strict regulations.

Researchers from the University of Delaware and Delaware State University are developing an innovative daily fishing forecast—similar to a weather report—that could help watermen avoid accidentally catching sharks and sturgeon as bycatch.

“Based on environmental observations in real-time, we are going to make probability predictions of those two species to give another layer of information to fishermen,” said Matt Oliver, assistant professor of oceanography in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE).

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