This past week there was a photo that went viral of a man in Lewes holding a shark in the water. We all know that they are there and are feeding right off the shores. However when one gets caught right off the beach people tend to take notice.
While many criticized the man for handling the shark he was actually practicing a perfect release of the shark. He kept the shark suspended in the water while his friend came out into the water and dehooked the shark. It was a safe catch and release of an apex predator right there off the beach. Fishing around the Delaware coast is a pastime that many enjoy. If you do it long enough you are bound to encounter a shark. So what do you do if you hook one of these toothy creatures? As exhibited in the viral video the safest way to ensure the shark is released healthy is to keep the shark in the water. When a shark is brought up onto the beach it can actually compress its organs causing major damage to the fish. Keep the shark in the water and moving forward so that water can flow over its gills. Gain control of the shark and either cut the leader as close to its mouth as possible or if you have a dehooking device retrieve the hook from the sharks mouth. It is important for you to swim the shark for a bit until it gains its strength back. Once the shark begins to swim give it a good push towards the sea so that it can continue on its way.
The group at Ocearch has been practicing safe catch and release of sharks for years. They have been tagging and releasing sharks since 2007 and have compiled fascinating research on migratory habits of many of the apex predators. They concentrate on data collection of the sharks behavior to establish the ecosystem balance of the ocean. Their mission is to study sharks worldwide and provide that data to the world. They employ state of the art collection methods that can quickly obtain 12+ samples of shark anatomy in 15 minutes. The group has tagged and released many sharks right here off the Delaware coast.