Financial Transparency

where do your donations go?

The Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation is committed to our research initiatives and could not succeed without the support and generosity of our donors. The BBFSF is a unique 501(c)3 Non-profit Organization, running our remote field station 365 days a year. Our close proximity to Florida means our research not only benefits the Bahamas, but can also help with regulations and legislation for sharks in U.S waters. 

Your donations go directly to our research, but what does that mean?

  • The BBFSF fully supports two full-time, live-in PhD students for three years. 

  • Sample processing (from approx. $12 to $20 per sample) – Blood samples, body condition and isotope analysis are a major factor in our PI's research, and hundreds of samples are sent to be processed annually.

  • Research supplies – circle hooks, monofilament, longline gear, gillnets, tackle, hand held radios, workup kits (scissors, scalpels, etc), bolt cutters, polyballs, ropes/lines, etc.

  • Fuel – Nearly every single research activity requires fuel for our boats. As a price comparison, a gallon of fuel in Florida is approx. $2.00 while in Bimini it costs $5.50-$6.00.

  • Tags – Every animal we catch is tagged with a PIT tag and NMFS tag. Specific species and size classes are tagged with acoustic tags or satellite tags. Much of our current and published research would not be possible without these tags.

  • Station Crew - Our longterm crew are provided room and board at the station for the duration of their time at the BBFSF, and are a key asset into the completion for any and all research conducted.

Running a remote research station for 365 days a year will incur costs. our general expenses include:  

  • Boats and vehicle maintenance – 9 boats, 11 engines, and 3 vehicles require constant maintenance, including specialized servicing gear

  • Home maintenance supplies – All plumbing, electrical, building, and vehicle repairs require materials to fix it when it's broken!

  • Home improvement - The Shark Lab building has been operating for 30 years, with thousands of people coming through our doors. The facility has seen significant wear and tear, and we are now making a huge effort to improve the living conditions for our Crew, and head in a more sustainable direction!

  • Food costs – On average, there are 15-20 mouths to feed at the Lab daily. We eat budgeted, family style meals prepared by our Station Crew. As a price comparison, a Family Size box of Cheerios costs about $4.50 in Florida, but after shipment, VAT, customs and import fees, it retails in Bimini for $8.00.

  • Insurance - boats, vehicles and hurricane insurance annually.

  • Electricity for 15-20 people - As a comparison, Florida price per KWH is $0.12, while Bimini is approx. $0.35 (including VAT tax and a fuel surcharge).

So, why do we do it? we take great pride in the achievements and accomplishments of our team:

 

  • PublicationsOver 200 peer-reviewed publications have come from Shark Lab research! 

  • Leaders in the industry - Many of our former volunteers, undergrad and PhD students, and previous Station Crew have become well established and recognized leaders in shark and marine research - Just have a look at our esteemed Board of Directors!

  • Protected areas for sharks - The Bahamas Shark Sanctuary and protection for Lemon sharks in Florida are some examples of how the Shark Lab's research and data have been used to impact legislation. We continue to push for the establishment of the North Bimini Marine Reserve. 

  • Outreach & community engagement – This part is extremely important to us! ​​

    • Local Bimini High School students: our doors are open to local high schoolers interested in joining us at the Lab and in the field. This provides young Bahamians a chance to get hands on research experience, and exposure to marine science.

    • Local elementary school visits to educate the next generation 

    • Free online classroom talks via ZOOM/Skype

    • Free daily Shark Lab tours 

    • Community BBQs & hosted dinners for our neighbours

    • Outreach materials – ex. Bahamas Fisheries Regulations posters were created by our team and displayed in high traffic areas around the island at the request of the Bimini Fisheries Officer

    • Conservation Village at Tortuga Music Festival allows us to engage with thousands of festival goers over a 3 day period 

  • Long term data set - Over 30 years of collected data - we have one of the most robust datasets for lemon sharks on the planet, and this dataset is used as a model species for other research interests 

  • Collaborations with visiting researchers - It's not all about sharks! We have collaborations with visiting scientists studying evolutionary development, reptiles, impact of microplastics, bony fish, dolphins, etc. and endeavour to expand our research into a variety of biological avenues. 

  • Social media - Our social media growth allows us to reach a huge audience who can learn about elasmobranch research and make an impact from the comfort of their homes. 

The Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation is a USA 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible as appropriate by law.

We are sincerely grateful for your financial contribution to our cause, and we thank you for your support!

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