DEREK KRAFT, Ph.D. Candidate
University of Hawai'i - Mānoa , Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology
My work involves utilizing and developing molecular tools to assist managers in making decisions about the pelagic sharks of our oceans. Mostly I examine DNA of sharks from different locations around the globe to outline stock structure which will identify how much these sharks are moving within and between ocean basins, a critical element for proper management of sharks affected by fisheries. Additionally, I’m developing forensic tools to be implemented on samples collected from the Hong Kong fin markets. This tool will allow us to identify region of origin for shark fins products in the fin trade. The results could identify harvest hotspots which is the first step toward controlling this devastating fishery, and will also give us insight on where this illegal and unreported shark finning is occurring. Finally we are also developing additional forensic tools to identify species involved in shark bite incidences on humans and as well on fish during shark deprivation events affecting fisheries.