Mote Marine Laboratory is bringing its shark expertise to a new consortium studying highly migratory species, thanks to new funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Sea Grant program. The consortium is being led by the University of Maine, with partners from Mote Marine Laboratory, Nova Southeastern University and Auburn University. The PERC award was one of three competitive grants totaling $2 million, awarded through the 2019 Sea Grant Highly Migratory Species Research Initiative. PERC will conduct projects in areas of research focused on multiple highly species of highly migratory fish in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico: bycatch reduction, increased understanding of life history, post-release mortality and more. Mote’s Center for Shark Research is leading the shark component of PERC’s objectives.
The total cost of the Mote shark project is $600,000 for one year. Of this, the NOAA Sea Grant award provides $400,000, with a $200,000 match coming from Mote and its partner organization OCEARCH, which is providing $75,000 in ship time aboard its state-of-the-art shark research vessel.