Humane Society Grant for Study on Thresher Sharks in Australia
2011 Marine Science Grant from the Humane Society International
Winner: Matthew Heard, Flinders University
Project: Assessment of the vulnerability of thresher sharks (Alopias spp.) to commercial and recreational fisheries
Media Release: for immediate release
Date: 10 October 2011
A Bedford Park winner for $7,000 young scientist grant
Bedford Park resident, Matthew Heard was recently announced as a recipient of a $7,000 science grant from the conservation group, Humane Society International.
Each year the Humane Society International and the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife each offer a Marine Science Grant of up to $7,000 to support research of Australian marine ecosystems that will ultimately lead to tangible outcomes for management. The Paddy Pallin Foundation offers a sister Science Grant of up to $7,000 to support field-based, high-quality ecological research each year.
The grants are open to Postgraduate students and Early Career Researchers (within 3 years of completing a PhD) and are administered by the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.
Mr Heard, a PhD candidate of Flinders University, receives the $7,000 to complete his research into the vulnerability of Thresher sharks to the Australian commercial and recreational fisheries.
“Thresher sharks are large pelagic sharks that are of particular conservation concern globally due to their declining populations,”said Mr Heard.
“These sharks are frequently taken as bycatch in commercial fisheries and targeted bygame and recreational fishers.”
Mr Heard will conduct surveys of game and recreational fishers, model commercial catch data and use satellite tracking technology to collect the required information to assess the potential threats to Thresher shark populations in Australian waters.
Mr Heard was thrilled to receive the news of his grant win. “This grant will provide me with the funding to conduct the game and recreational fishing surveys to better assess the behaviour and attitude of recreational fishers towards Thresher sharks,” he said. “The results from the survey will be used to incorporate the views and knowledge of recreational fishers into the vulnerability assessments,” said Mr Heard.
“We are proud to support Matthew’s work, as it will directly inform decision making processes specific to the management and conservation of Thresher sharks,” said Mr Michael Kennedy, Director of Humane Society International Australia. “The information Matthew will gain is critical as it will allow for a better understanding of the impacts of recreational fishery on Thresher sharks, providing vital information to contribute to their better management,” said Mr Kennedy.
The next round of science grants for PhD and Early Career Researchers will open in May 2012. Visit www.rzsnsw.org.au for details.