Gladstone researcher needs help with shark count

GLADSTONE fishing lovers can get their teeth into large scale research project into sharks.

CQUniversity PhD student Jessica Scannell needs help with a survey of recreational fishing along the coast between Gladstone and Bundaberg.

Ms Scannell is researching the conservation and management of the state's shark populations.

She is examining commercial fisheries and drum line data and investigating local knowledge of sharks in the region.

She has already looked into the coastal waters between Port Alma and Agnes Water.

Ms Scannell said the aim was to determine the possible locations of breeding or nursery habitats.

She is also looking into the the supply chain dynamics of sharks sold for consumption in Queensland to determine where information is lost between the fisher catching the shark and the meat being sold to consumers.

"Specifically, the research will examine why shark meat is usually only labeled as 'shark' or 'flake' and not by a specific common name like 'gummy shark'? Appropriate labeling would allow consumers to make informed purchases," Ms Scannell said.

"The aim here is to collect information on the species composition, abundance and distribution of recreational fishing catches.

"Most recreational fishers are targeting either reef fish offshore or inshore fish such as barramundi and mangrove jack, all of which are considered more suitable for consumption.

"For this reason there's little data available on recreational shark captures and this study aims to observe recreational fishing to find out how rare shark catches are in comparison to other recreational species."

Deatils: j.scannell@cqu.edu.au or phone 0488 673 598.



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