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NEFSC Apex Predators Longline Survey (DE0407, EK500)
The fishery independent survey of Atlantic large and small coastal sharks is conducted bi-annually in U.S. waters. Its primary objective is to conduct a standardized, systematic survey of the shark populations off the U.S. Atlantic coast to provide unbiased indices of relative abundance for species inhabiting the waters from Florida to the Mid-Atlantic. This survey also provides an opportunity to tag sharks with conventional and electronic tags as part of the NEFSC Cooperative Shark Tagging Program, inject with OTC for age validation studies, and to collect biological samples and data used in analyses of life history characteristics (age, growth, reproductive biology, trophic ecology, etc.) and other research of sharks in U.S. coastal waters including the collection of morphometric data for size conversions. The time series of abundance indices from this survey is critical to the evaluation of coastal Atlantic shark species.