Swimming with sharks

Raissa Tetanish
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Amherst man finishes four years of shark research lab management

Sean Williams films a tiger shark during a four-year term of managing a shark research lab in Bimini, Bahamas. Part of the research the lab conducts involves tagging sharks, such as lemon sharks, and tracking their movements and reproduction. Submitted photo

 

AMHERST - For four years, Sean Williams lived his days surrounded by marine creatures many fear - the shark.

Williams, who spent the later years of his adolescence in Amherst, managed a shark research lab in Bimini, Bahamas.

"I've always been fascinated with sharks," said Williams, adding he doesn't know what it is about them that struck him. "Whatever it was, it stuck with me."

Williams said sharks are like other big predators - people are either frightened by or fascinated with them.

"Like bears, tigers, lions or crocodiles - they all have elements of danger," he said.

Over the past four years, Williams did a little bit of everything when it came to managing the shark research lab.

He set long lines, operated vessels for film crews, tagged sharks and acted as an advisor to students in a research program studying abroad.

With an exception of two weeks over Christmas, the research lab operated every day.

"The majority of our work was with lemon sharks," said Williams. "The shallow water and saltwater plants made it the perfect habit. Roughly 300 juvenile lemon sharks call Bimini their home."

 

 

 

 

 

Organizations: Cape Eleuthera Institute

Geographic location: Amherst, Bimini, Bahamas Cat Island

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