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Expedition 20: Sharks & Plankton Offshore PBC

FIU scientists worked with citizen scientists to deploy drum lines, tag sharks and collect plankton from aboard R/V ANGARI.

Tiger Sharks
Great Hammerhead Shark



December 2, 2018


West Palm Beach, FL


Science Team

Gina Clementi
Laura García Barcia
Kirk Gastrich
Mike Heithaus
Nick Ogle
Jessica Quinlan

All sharks were fished for, caught, studied and released for research purposes under Florida permits held by Florida International University scientists.

This expedition invited Florida International University researchers, citizen scientists and videographers onboard R/V ANGARI for an adventurous day studying sharks and plankton offshore Palm Beach County. Twelve drum lines resulted in 3 sharks caught, including 2 tiger sharks and 1 great hammerhead shark. The first tiger shark measured over 11 feet long and was the largest shark caught off R/V ANGARI to date while the second tiger shark was the smallest ever worked up onboard. Many aspects of the day were captured on film and will be used as part of an upcoming joint education program between ANGARI Foundation and Florida International University.


Dr. Mike Heithaus is a marine ecologist, specializing in predator-prey interactions and the ecological importance of sharks and other large marine species like dolphins and sea turtles. His research includes investigating the ecological consequences of overfishing large predators, predator-prey interactions, and the ecology of seagrass ecosystems, coral reefs, and deep-sea communities of the Gulf of Mexico. He has published more than 160 scientific papers and book chapters, co-edited four books on sharks, and attracted over $8 million in research support. Mike also serves as Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences & Education (CASE) and Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University (FIU).


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