Dr. Bill Hanshumaker of Oregon Sea Grant, performs a shark necropsy at the ninth annual Heceta Head Coastal Conference last weekend, Oct. 25 and 26, at the Florence Events Center. The salmon shark was caught this summer in a net off the coast of Newport as bycatch in the hake fishery. Although a chance to educate conference attendees about sharks, the necropsy was also a way to collect information for a database and gather specimens for many research projects, including detection of radioactive nucleotides leaked from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. Hanshumaker reported that levels have been detectable but are “nowhere near a health risk.” This year’s conference theme was “Oregon’s Ocean: So Many Fish in the Sea” and explored fish ecosystems, sustainability and fisheries from the view of researchers, fishermen and processors. The program even included a performance by fisher poets.
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