OCEAN CITY- Charter fishing captain Mark Sampson is helping tourists catch swimmers’ worst nightmare – sharks.
Sampson and the tourists aren’t catching sharks to keep them. Instead, they tag the sharks and record important information such as length and species.
“Along with just the tagging of sharks, now we are involved in more types of research with sharks, which has been really great for us because we have been able to fold that in with our shark fishing trips,” Sampson said.
Sampson has been part of the Cooperative Shark Tagging program since 1975. Along with fishermen across the country, Sampson tags sharks to gain insight into the puzzling creatures.
If a shark he tags is recaptured, the fisherman will contact the National Marine Fisheries Service in Rhode Island and explain where they caught the shark, how they caught it and provide other important information, such as length and weight.
He said he enjoys doing the research and educating the public because he wants to dispel some of the myths surrounding sharks.
“There is a lot you can learn on TV or in the books or whatever,” Sampson said. “But until you have a real shark in your hands, or your hands on a shark, you really can’t learn it all.”