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sustainable fisheries management

Thresher Shark Projects Overview

The PIER team has worked collaboratively with several laboratories on the movements, physiology and ecology of thresher sharks (Family Alopiidae).   This shark family contains three species that use their long caudal fin for feeding and stunning prey.  Off California, the bigeye and common thresher sharks are typically the most prevalent, but in some years we can also find pelagic threshers here as well.  Below you can find areas in PIER has worked on this group of pelagic sharks and links to additional pages that describe the studies in more detail.     

Survivorship in Commercial Fisheries

Recently, the PIER team has focused on post release survivorship of bigeye thresher sharks, a frequent catch in the developing deep-set buoy gear fishery.  Because bigeye threshers do not have the market value of swordfish, it is not uncommon for them to be released in an attempt to save hold space for more valuable product.  The funding for this work was provided through the NOAA Bycatch Reducion and Engineering Program.

Survivorship in Recreational Fisheries

Past work by the PIER team has focused on documenting post release survivorship in the California recreational fishery for the common thresher shark.  This species is a great game fish that provides anglers with a challenge during the spring and fall months.  This PIER-NOAA collaboration resulted in several outreach products including the production of a short video segment on catch and release survivorship studies by the NOAA Ocean Media Center.      

Additional studies at PIER include work on the Feeding Behavior and Ecology of the common thresher as well as NSF sponsored studies that focused on thresher shark muscle physiology.  

As with most studies at PIER, the thresher work has been possible through the productive collaboration with researchers from several organizations including NOAA, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, MiraCosta College and the University of Calgary, Canada.    



More About P.I.E.R.  
The Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research, PIER, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Oceanside, California.