O'Seas Conservation Foundation is involved with projects all over the world.  Below you will see brief overviews from several of our exciting projects.  Should you be interested in the work, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to discuss these projects in further detail.

Present Projects

The Use of Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS) Paired with Satellite Tagging Technologies to Determine if Montauk, New York is a White Shark Nursery Ground
 
Location:  Montauk, New York
 
 
We commenced this work in 2013 and have successfully tagged 7 different juvenile white sharks and identified over 25 white sharks using our BRUVS.  With an expected two more years of research left (end date:  2019), we hope to illustrate the importance of Montauk for this protected shark species.
The Use of Non-Invasive Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS) to Characterize the Shark Species Living in the Waters Surrounding Montauk, New York
 
Location:  Montauk, New York
 
 
We commenced this work in 2013 and have collected over 1000 hours of BRUVS footage.  Surveying from May 1-November 1 each year, we have collected a detailed record of the various shark species that live in our waters.  In combination with this presence/absence data, we also are linking our observations to a variety of variables (e.g. temperature, bait presence) to determine what may be dictating the arrival and departure of several of our focal shark species.  The exciting thing about this work is that it is non-invasive and is proving more effective than invasive longline techniques!  

 

The Implementation of Short-Term Deployment Longlines to Characterize the Shark Fauna of Southern Long Island, New York
 
Location:  Montauk, New York
 
 
Since 2013, we have been regularly deploying 25-hook longlines at least once per week to characterize, measure, and tag a variety of shark species off of Southern Long Island, New York.  Our method is slightly different as we only let the lines soak for a total duration of 45 minutes, as we do not want to cause any shark mortality due to stress associated capture.  Through this study, we have tagged well over 50 large sharks (dusky, sandbar, common thresher, blue, and white sharks) and will aim to continue this work as a means to understand how shark density and diversity may change with time within our region.  All of this work will be greatly influential for future conservation efforts.  

 

The Utilization of Bi-Directional FinCams to Study the Fine-Scale Movements and Behavioral Patterns of Common Thresher, White, and Dusky Sharks within the New York Bight
 
Location:  Montauk, New York
 
 
Started in 2017, this study aims to uncover unique behavioral characteristics in combination with the fine-scale movement patterns of various shark species within the New York Bight.  This study is an ambitious one, but may prove vitally important in shedding light as to why these sharks utilize this region during several months each year.  The findings from this study will be used to implement further conservation measures to ensure the survival of each species.
The Utilization of the Newly Designed Shark Harness to Determine the Importance of the Smooth Dogfish Shark to the New York Bight
 
Location:  Woods Hole, Massachusetts and Montauk, New York
 
 
Dr. O'Connell invented the Shark Harness, a new FinCam design that can be effectively placed on smaller shark species.  This study commenced in 2017 at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole and is an on-going field analysis in Montauk, NY.  This work is being conducted to assess if the smooth dogfish shark if a valuable food source within the New York Bight.  Such a finding would be relevant as this is an unregulated species (e.g. no catch limits) in both commercial and recreational fisheries and there is no current stock status for this species.  Should it be declining and prove a valuable food source to a variety of large sharks, future catch regulations may prove vital to species conservation. 

 

The Influence of Kelp Density on White Shark Presence within the Dyer Island Nature Reserve, South Africa
 
Location:  Gansbaai, South Africa
 
 
This BRUVS-based study was conducted in Gansbaai, South Africa and aimed to assess how or if sea bamboo (a kelp species) may influence the presence or absence of large white sharks. With increased abalone poaching in the region, which is contributing to rapid increases in kelp density around the Dyer Island Nature Reserve, this study is important because a continued trend in anthropogenic disturbances in the region may yield dramatic shifts in predator-prey dynamics.  

 

The Utilization of Prey-Simulating Electrodes to Analyze the Predatory Tactics of the Great Hammerhead Shark
 
Location:  Bimini, Bahamas

 

 
This study was an exciting study that used "robotic" stingrays to analyze the foraging behavior of the great hammerhead shark.  Pairing the findings from the robotic rays with a natural predation observed within Bimini's shallow flats, this study discovered a new foraging technique that helps maximize predatory success and prey maneuverability!  

 

© 2013 by O'Seas Conservation Foundation.