Fourth Annual Long Island Natural History Conference


















The Sharks Found in Our Near Shore Waters: Oh, Just How Little We Know

Gregory M. Metzger, Marine Science Teacher, Southampton High School

The Long Island Shark Collaboration (LISC) is one of the newest organizations to begin studying the large coastal sharks found along the south shore of Long Island. These waters support a host of shark species about which very little information is known. Our mission is two-fold: First, we look to provide data or access to data on sharks of interest to a variety of user groups including scientists, government agencies, conservation organizations, and students. At the same time our goal is to answer our own suite of research questions. Currently, we are working on a systematic survey of sharks found in the ocean waters along the south shore of Long Island.  We are also specifically targeting young-of-the-year (YOY) white sharks for electronic tagging purposes. The tags will begin to give us information on the movement of this year’s class about which virtually nothing is known. During this upcoming season, we plan to add the real-time tracking of thresher sharks and YOY white sharks using acoustic telemetry. This technology will give us data on both the vertical and horizontal movements of these species as well as provide new insights into their physiology. 

Greg Mertzger has been teaching marine science and aquaculture at Southampton High School since September 2001. In his 14 years, he had the opportunity to design and build one of the most state-of-the-art marine labs found in a publicly funded high school in the country. His program educates hundreds of individuals of all ages each year in the area of marine science and the industry of aquaculture.

Most recently, Metzger and a group of fellow researchers formed the Long Island Shark Collaboration (LISC). This team has set out to better understand the population dynamics of all large coastal sharks found along the south shore of Long Island. In addition, LISC hopes to begin to unlock the mysteries of the young of the year white sharks found in these local waters.

Metzger is an adjunct professor of aquaculture at Stony Brook University. He also has held a Master Near Coastal U.S. Coast Guard license since 2005 and runs a successful charter business. He has delivered public lectures and conducted workshops educating citizens on the basic biology of sharks and the scientific methods used by shark biologists to gather data. Email: