Shark Nursery Grounds of the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast Waters of the United States


SKU: 54050P Category:


Camilla T. McCandless, Nancy E. Kohler, and Harold L. Pratt, Jr., editors

402 pages, Symposium 50

Published by the American Fisheries Society

Publication date: December 2007

ISBN: 978-1-888569-81-0



In the mid to late 1990’s, the need for a better understanding of shark nursery habitat in U.S. coastal waters prompted the initiation of several detailed studies of shark nursery grounds in almost all of the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico states from New England to Texas. In this book, researchers from universities and state and federal agencies contribute information on long-term shark nursery studies, studies on juveniles within established nursery areas, and some studies in the early stages of development. The book begins with a chapter on nursery areas as essential shark habitats and future directions for shark nursery studies, and concludes with species summary tables of nursery habitat characteristics reported in this volume.


Nursery Areas as Essential Shark Habitats: A Theoretical Perspective (Michael R. Heithaus)

Part 1: Waters of the U.S. Atlantic Coast

Shark Nursery Areas in the Coastal Waters of Massachusetts (Gregory B. Skomal)

Sandbar Shark Nurseries in New Jersey and New York: Evidence of Northern Pupping Grounds along the United States East Coast (Rebeka R. Merson and Harold L. Pratt, Jr.)

Distribution, Localized Abundance, Movements, and Migrations of Juvenile Sandbar Sharks Tagged in Delaware Bay (Camilla T. McCandless, Harold L. Pratt, Jr., Nancy E. Kohler, Rebeka R. Merson, and Conrad W. Recksiek)

Spatial Delineation of Summer Nursery Areas for Juvenile Sandbar Sharks in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia (R. Dean Grubbs and John A. Musick)

Long-Term Movements, Migration, and Temporal Delineation of a Summer Nursery for Juvenile Sandbar Sharks in the Chesapeake Bay Region (R. Dean Grubbs, John A. Musick, Christina L. Conrath, and Jason G. Romine)

Survey of the Shark Fauna in Two South Carolina Estuaries and the Impact of Salinity Structure (Daniel C. Abel, Robert F. Young, Jason A. Garwood, Mario J. Travaline, and Bree K. Yednock)

Habitat Utilization, Relative Abundance, and Seasonality of Sharks in the Estuarine and Nearshore Waters of South Carolina (Glenn F. Ulrich, Christian M. Jones, William B. Driggers, III, J. Marcus Drymon, Douglas Oakley, and Catherine Riley)

Shark Nursery Grounds in Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, Georgia (Christopher W. D. Gurshin)

Organochlorine Contaminants in Juvenile Sandbar and Blacktip Sharks from Major Nursery Areas on the East Coast of the United States (James Gelsleichter, Nancy J. Szabo, and John J. Morris)

Preliminary Assessment of a Nearshore Nursery Ground for the Scalloped Hammerhead off the Atlantic Coast of Florida (Douglas H. Adams and Richard Paperno)

Early Life History of the Spinner Shark in a Florida Nursery (Craig W. Aubrey and Franklin F. Snelson, Jr.)

Part 2: Gulf of Mexico

Species-Specific Distribution and Habitat Characteristics of Shark Nurseries in Gulf of Mexico Waters off Peninsular Florida and Texas (Robert E. Hueter and John P. Tyminski)

The Nurse Shark, Mating and Nursery Habitat in the Dry Tortugas, Florida (Harold L. Pratt, Jr. and Jeffrey C. Carrier)

Notes on the Occurrence and Distribution of Elasmobranchs in the Ten Thousand Islands Estuary, Florida (Pascale A. Steiner, Marcel Michel, and Patrick M. O’Donnell)

Effects of Tidal Current on the Movement Patterns of Juvenile Bull Sharks and Blacktip Sharks (Pascale A. Steiner and Marcel Michel)

Exiting Terra Ceia Bay: An Examination of Cues Stimulating Migration from a Summer Nursery Area (Michelle R. Heupel)

Modeling the Role of Sharks in the Trophic Dynamics of Apalachicola Bay, Florida (John K. Carlson)

Identification and Characterization of Shark Nursery Grounds along the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts (Glenn R. Parsons and Eric R. Hoffmayer)

Shark Nursery Areas of Central Louisiana’s Nearshore Coastal Waters (Julie A. Neer, Jason K. Blackburn, and Bruce A. Thompson)

Delineation of Bull Shark Nursery Areas in the Inland and Coastal Waters of Louisiana (Jason K. Blackburn, Julie A. Neer, and Bruce A. Thompson)

The Use of Laguna Yalahau, Quintana Roo, Mexico as a Primary Nursery for the Blacktip Shark (Robert E. Hueter, J. Leonardo Castillo Géniz, J. Fernando Márquez Farias, and John P. Tyminski)

Species Specific Shark Nursery Habitat Summary Tables