Feeding Ecology of Coastal Sharks    

We are conducting feeding studies on coastal shark species that are common inhabitants of estuarine and coastal waters in the NW Gulf of Mexico. This project entails collecting both stomach and muscle tissue samples opportunistically from animals already collected by anglers and brought to the boat docks. We then analyze stomach contents for short-term diet information (days) and stable isotopes of the muscle tissue to reveal longer term (weeks to months) feeding habits of these animals. The goal of the research is to understand the foraging behavior of these species that share similar habitats to determine their feeding niche. Ultimately, information generated from this study can be used to assist in ecosystem-based fishery management.