Engineering Prototypes to Rescue Ocean Sunfish on Cape Cod Beaches - Internship
New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance
Engineering research and methodology is needed to more safely and efficiently rescue Ocean Sunfish, a large and heavy marine fish that strands each fall along the shores of Cape Cod and surrounding areas. Ocean Sunfish are the heaviest bony fish that feeds off the Cape and they become trapped inside Cape Cod Bay on their way south to warmer wintering areas. Ocean Sunfish that strand are juveniles (average weight 600 lbs. and tail length 5 feet). NECWA rescues these behemoths by maneuvering stranded fish that are in shallow water onto a hula hoop with attached pool noodles in order to tow them behind a kayak or small boat back into deeper water. If life fish strands on a beach, then it is almost impossible to move the animal back into the water. NECWA also rescues Torpedo Rays, the only electric ray in our area that can reach weights of over 200 lbs. This internship will look at engineering technologies and practices that can be used to more easily and safely rescue live ocean sunfish and torpedo rays when stranded in shallow water or when beached. Interns will create prototypes of rescue gear that will hopefully be tested during the upcoming fall stranding season which unfortunately, is an annual event.
- Create prototypes of rescue gear for "misfit" marine wildlife that strands long the shores of Cape Cod and surrounding areas.
- "Misfit" marine wildlife that NECWA focuses on are Ocean Sunfish and Torpedo Rays
- Rescue gear technique will be for both 1) stranded animals in shallow water and 2) stranded animals on beaches or sand flats
- If available, try out rescue gear on stranded marine animals in the fall which is the start of the stranding season.