Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters 501(c)3 non-profit sector:

R3EACH & The Great Hammerhead Project

The Great Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna mokarran) is the largest of the hammerheads, and is currently on the red list (critically endangered) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Overfishing, shark finning, and the loss of critical food resources are some suspected causes for their decline.  Depriving future generations of such an iconic species would be tragic; studies like ours will be instrumental in gathering information critical to conserving this species.

R3EACH is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit with a mission that involves Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation of the threatened marine species and Education and Awareness for Communities about the fragile marine Habitats that makeup the Florida Keys. The great hammerhead project fits perfectly into R³EACH’s mission.

Scientists from a number of colleges and universities work with R3EACH to record data on hammerhead migration. These researchers utilize Aqustic and satellite tags (SAT) to track the movements of individual sharks. UMass Amherst PhD student Grace Casselberry is one of the scientists to work on this project most recently. Casselberry and the R3EACH team were able to tag 3 great hammerhead sharks measuring in excess of 13’ with SAT tags. Her study focuses on predator-prey interactions between great hammerhead sharks and Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) and shark depredation in the recreational tarpon fishery. This research coincides with our mission and is also supported by the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. R³EACH, Dynasty Marine Associates, and Aquarium Encounters continue to donate their time, vessels, and equipment for the advancement of the Great Hammerhead Project.

If you would like to donate to the great hammerhead project please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-great-hammerhead-project

Special thanks to Absolutely Fish Inc. who started with the original seed money to buy the first Sat. tags for this project.  For more info on Absolutely Fish Inc. please visit: https://absolutelyfish.com

hammerheads swimming

This GIF shows two years of movement for a Keys resident Great Hammerhead that was tagged.

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