We conduct species-specific investigation into the physiology of bycaught fishes and their post-release survivability. By increasing our understanding of how fishes respond to capture, we will be able to inform efforts to increase the post-release survival rate of bycaught fishes.
We analyze the concentration of blood components such as electrolytes in blood collected from non-legal and/or juvenile bycatch. These results are used to assess how the capture process affects fish.
Initial studies have shown that spiny dogfish have the capacity to cope with transport and captive stress. Studying the effects of rapidly changing environments not only holds implications for aquaria and research in confined settings, but can also be utilized as an additional treatment in fisheries studies.
Most bycatch survival data is empirical: fish either survive, or they do not. We conduct trials in which, in lieu of a return to the ocean, relevant species are held in pens at sea and in the captive environment to monitor survival rates in the post-capture period.
Each species of fish has a unique biology and physiology, and different species appear to possess varying degrees of resiliency to the stressors of being caught and released. Therefore, we believe a species-specific approach to our research is vital.