What's Happening at GCRL

OCEARCH program provides opportunity for GCRL staff to shine positive light on sharks

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s Shark Research program enjoyed a weeklong exhibit at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans to supplement the docking of the M/V OCEARCH, a research vessel seen on the Discovery Channel show “Shark Wranglers.”

OCEARCH is a research group that targets the tagging and tracking of sharks. Their research vessel was docked outside the aquarium from Nov. 30 until Dec. 6 for a shark-themed week.

The Shark Research Program, directed by Jill Hendon and Andy Evans, had staffers on hand throughout the week to give aquarium visitors a hands-on experience in the realm of shark research.

“It was a wonderful experience to be a part of this program,” Jill Hendon said. “Working with elasmobranchs, sharks and rays, is an amazing opportunity and we love to share our work with the public.”

The Shark Research Program brought a photo booth, shark-tagging activity, trawl activity, shark blood analysis station, and a coloring station for visitors to participate in. 

“Everyone is aware of sharks and the image they portray, but we strive to tell the public the whole story about sharks, the integral role they play in our environment and the drastic results that would ensue if sharks were no longer present in our waters,” Hendon said.  “We want to show the awesome side of sharks too.”