Yes I know.
That video has been on and off all day.
It will be re-uploaded shortly, likely after our long Fiji Day weekend.
Thanks for your patience in this.
Blog about "The World's best Shark Dive" by Beqa Adventure Divers. Featuring up to eight regular species of Sharks and over 400 different species of fish, Shark diving doesn't get any better!
With the start of the summer beach season, I expect there will be pressure to begin killing tagged great whites that set off acoustic alarms near beaches. The government has noted that this will not happen, but it is a logical next step in the current thinking.
After fishing out the big sharks from the east coast waters, either through fishing methods that involve a lot of bycatch like long lines and gillnets, or through targeted shark fisheries, the ecosystem changed.
In the absence of large predators, a sizeable population (for which we had no fishery) of adorable cow-nosed rays began foraging in the eelgrass for their preferred shellfish food. I don’t blame them. It would take very little to convince me to rummage face-first in the mud for fresh scallops. The mechanical disturbance of foraging rays to the eelgrass, uprooted those plants. The habitat for all of the invertebrates and fish that need it for shelter was lost. By that same token, the rookery habitat for the juvenile fish for which we had our own fisheries was lost; damaging the fisheries and our economy. Our fishery economy was further damaged by the loss of shellfish to ray predation. Without shellfish to filter the water, pollutants were retained and plankton bloomed, causing a depletion of oxygen and creating dead-zones and poor water quality.
Inside MPAs, fish surveys conducted with close-circuit rebreathers (CCR) recorded similar community metrics to fish surveys conducted with conventional open-circuit SCUBA.In contrast, outside the MPAs, the bubble-free diving system recorded 48% more species and up to 260% greater fish abundance. These differences reflected the ability of a diver wearing the silent CCR unit to sample the larger, most heavily targeted species that are shy of divers in fished areas. This difference was also large enough to change some results from ‘reject’ to ‘accept’ the null hypothesis of ‘no significant differences exist between fished and protected areas’.The use of CCR for fish surveys clearly minimizes behavioural biases associated with fish avoiding open-circuit SCUBA divers.We recommend the use of this bubble-free diving system for surveys assessing reef fish populations, especially in areas where fish are heavily targeted by spearfishing. If fish behaviour is not accounted for, surveys using SCUBA could result in erroneous conclusions when comparing fished and protected areas. While the behaviour of fish towards divers is rarely mentioned in conclusions from studies using Underwater Visual Census, it is an important source of bias that should be acknowledged and minimized where possible.