Longline Field Methods

Established in 1973, the longline survey at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is the longest-running fishery independent shark monitoring survey in the world.

  • 8 fixed stations in the Chesapeake bay & coastal Virginia waters
  • Stations sampled monthly for 4-6 months per year (summer residents) 
  • Standardized commercial-style demersal longline gear consisting of 1.25 nautical miles of 4.8 mm tarred nylon mainline, anchored at each end
  • 100 hook longline using standard "J" hooks spaced approximately 20 meters apart with exception to Middle Ground & Kiptopeke 
    • 120 hook longline on Kiptopeke &  Middle Ground Stations - modified gear to target juvenile shark populations. 
  • 80 standard "J" hooks + 40 monofilament "Circle" hooks
  • Baited with Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus)
  • Fished for 4 hours 
  • Each fish is measured, sexed, tagged and released
    • Hallprint Nylon dart tag for sharks < 100 cm TL
    • Hallprint Stainless steel head dart tags for sharks > 100 cm TL

longline graphic

View Larger