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Circle Hooks: The Preferred Thresher Catcher?

August 15, 2012

How do NOAA scientists and recreational fishermen work together to improve catch and release techniques for thresher sharks? Watch this video to find out how they do this off the coast of Southern California. The waters in this area are well-known hot spots for the common thresher shark, a recreational fishing favorite that can weigh more than 500 pounds with a uniquely long whip-like tail. 

Catching thresher sharks is on the rise, and fisheries experts are researching how to keep the fishery sustainable. Improving gear and encouraging the use of circle hooks is just the beginning of long term conservation efforts. Learn more about the goal of this research project—to have a sustainable commercial and recreational fishery for thresher sharks—and how both scientists and fishermen collaborate on this goal.



Related Links to Recreational Shark Fishing Information

Learn about sharks species on

Thresher shark.

In the United States, commercial harvest of the thresher is a federally regulated industry, but recreational fishing for this shark is not. Since the thresher is a challenging fish to catch, this shark has been growing in popularity with recreational anglers. Learn more...

Fishermen aboard the Fish Finder tag and release a thresher shark for research. Credit: Mark Sampson.

Captain Mark Sampson specializes in charter shark fishing trips and runs an annual shark fishing tournament. Sampson owns and operates a 40-foot charter boat, the Fish Finder in Ocean City, Maryland. More...