The Coral Bay Community Council (CBCC) and researchers including Bryan DeAngelis and Dr. Greg Skomal have received a $5,800 grant from the New England Biolabs Foundation to continue juvenile shark research in Coral Bay and Fish Bay.
DeAngelis has been studying sharks in the USVI since 2004. The research "has shown the importance of the Coral Bay Inner Harbor in providing essential nursery habitat for lemon shark and blacktip shark species," CBCC’s president, Sharon Coldren said.
DeAngelis works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Our research has demonstrated that the shallow waters of Coral Harbor and Lagoon Point are among the most productive shark nursery areas in St. Thomas and St. John," he said.
When the sharks are caught, they are tagged with a numeric tag on their dorsal fin, which provides the researchers with valuable information if the shark is captured again. Other sharks are implanted with small acoustic transmitters that allow the shark to be electronically tracked for up to one year.
A summary handout on results of the Coral Bay research study to-date is available on the CBCC website at http://www.coralbaycommunitycouncil.org/Ocean.htm.