Sand shoals of the Outer Continental Shelf are an important source of beach-quality sand for coastal restoration projects. BOEM is tasked with ensuring continued access to this resource while protecting marine species associated with shoal habitats. The importance of shoals to large pelagic fish and sea turtles has historically been hard to define due to their high mobility in the open ocean.
In this talk, we will discuss how we paired traditional longline sampling with acoustic telemetry to characterize shark and sportfish distribution over multiple annual cycles. We will also describe the movements of green and loggerhead turtles using satellite telemetry and surveys using an unmanned surface vehicle. Our talk will highlight the applicability of our results to other regional sand shoals and propose directions for future research.