Friday, March 16, 2018

Big Sharks scavenging on a Whale!

Another Whale another GWS - source!

Enjoy - story here!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Recovery of Sharks within a well enforced MPA - Paper!

Very nice - watch!

Paper here, synopsis here.
I must say that contrary to other papers looking at different aspects of those reefs off Western Australia where I am weary of some of the conclusions, I am quite impressed by this one as the evidence for the rapid recovery of those Sharks appears to be rock solid as e.g. evidenced by the video below.

This is good news indeed.
Provided that there is strict enforcement, MPAs appear to be an effective tool in the protection of at least those comparatively less migratory coastal Sharks - and if so, there is certainly reason for hope.

Of course for us this is nothing new.
But good to see our data (and here!) confirmed by research from other parts of the word.

Enjoy the paper!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Gallivanting Tiger Sharks - new Paper!

Remember this post?
Sure you do! :)

Now, check this out.
Once again, this is evidence for the massive influence of environmental factors whereby both the coastal abundance and swimming performance of those migrating Tiger Sharks are being shown to be highest at ~22°C. Consequently, they track their optimal temperature and are thus more likely to be found in coastal areas in winter in the tropics; but towards temperate latitudes, they are more likely to be found in coastal areas in summer, see the figure at the top - and as climate change continues to heat up the oceans, those tracks are likely to shift poleward with according potential consequences for coastal communities, see the example of Sydney.

Very interesting!
Incidentally, this is very similar to what we are currently experiencing with our Bulls who have been shown to favor a temperature of ~26°C.
As the water temperature at Shark Reef has recently hovered around 29°C for a protracted period of time,  the number of especially the larger Bull Sharks has been appreciably lower - and whereas we don't dispose of any strong evidence, it is only fair to speculate that they may have retreated to greater depths or even absconded to places like Kadavu where the water temperature has been significantly lowered by Gita.

But I'm digressing as usual.
Great paper featuring numerous people I like and respect.

Bull Shark Tagging in Fiji!

Very nice!

Check this out.
Pascal was here to assist Kerstin in catching and tagging neonate Bulls. And whilst she has been concentrating on the Rewa River where she has managed to bag more than 100 pups, he and Gauthier of Projects Abroad did fish in the Sigatoka - not as productive as the Rewa but in exchange the results have been  very interesting indeed!
And whereas I'm not at liberty to elaborate quite yet, I can reveal that they will most certainly become an integral part of an upcoming paper, so keep watching this space!

Anyway, lovely post!
And I had to chuckle at the typically Swiss polite reference to cultural challenges = the usual shenanigans where the locals will always try and test any newbie!


Monday, March 05, 2018

Ian - well spoken !

Indefatigable - here at the CMS COP11 in Quito. Source.

And this is why we like him!

Friday, March 02, 2018

Escape to Shark Reef!

Very nice!

Check this out.
Juerg has been the scientific supervisor of our research and conservation for 15 years, and we simply could not be happier with the friendship, the level of cooperation and the many stellar papers our symbiotic relationship has spawned.
Contrary to what some self-appointed literal saviors of Fijian Sharks may want you believe, this is by far the most comprehensive and important collection of Shark research papers in Fiji. As such, it already has and continues to inform Government about sustainable Shark management, Shark conservation and sustainable Shark ecotourism.

And of course this is not the end by far!
As I consult my notes, there are several papers in the pipeline, some of which in preliminary stages all the way to some that are in final review and will be published very shortly indeed.

Keep watching this space!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Cyclone Gita - incoming!

So here it comes.

Read this.
In brief, it is very likely to pass to the south - but that's one big girl and as we all know, those tracks can change in the blink of an eye.

You know what to do!

Friday, February 02, 2018

And here comes the first Cyclone!

Check this out.

Yes the convergence zone will likely spawn a cyclone.
Luckily for us, its birth is going to be so close to Fiji that it will not have picked up much strength before wandering off - and here's to it not circling back like bloody Winston, see at top! And, it is going to be weak but it is still a cyclone, and the North can expect the usual torrential rain and likely flooding.

You know what to do!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cormorant vs Remoras!


This is just amazing!
Source here - and a big H/T to Daniel of Shark Business for finding it!

PS - and here's the long version - that's one helluva persistent bird lemme tell 'ya!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Especially for You Tumbiau!

Yes she has been naughty again - click for detail!

In the Lion's Den!

Here she is in all her splendor.
She glided in nonchalantly in the middle of the shallow feed, and took up residence right next to the bait crate until some lumbering brute with a camera had her move away again.
Talk about a contender for the Darwin Awards!

Click for detail!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Herwarth and Vreni - simply epic!


Remember this post - sure you do! :)

Well here they are in all their glory.
This was just the beginning as the gals were then coerced to mouth feed whilst topless - and of course the whole thing then ended in tears. And yes talk about Déjà vu huh = nihil novum, especially not the bikini bimbettes!

Huge H/T to the Saffron Pimpernel for having unearthed this gem!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

GHH in Beqa Lagoon!

This is a biggie from Ovalau - source!


Yes they are definitely here!
This one is from Project Abroad's BRUV research - and for the moment, the specific location will need to remain a secret lest some eager Shark killer be tempted to go catch himself a set of valuable fins. But it is excellent GHH habitat and we will certainly start looking a bit more closely as this is not the first time a GHH has been sighted there.

To be continued - keep watching this space!

Bull Shark vs Hippos!

Source - apparently this is not too rare!

Feisty feisty!
Enjoy - story here!

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Global Perspective on the Trophic Geography of Sharks - Paper!

Click for detail!


Read this
Yes that's a whole lot of authors, among which some people I like a lot = for once cooperation has been absolutely stellar and one has to congratulate Chris for having been able to pull this off, and for having laid the foundations for a global collective of researchers investigating Sharks by means of stable isotope analysis.

Press release here, report here.
And no, all is so clear and exhaustive that I really got nothing to add!

Kudos - very impressive indeed!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What Rebecca said!

Still one of the very best feeding pics from the SRMR!

You really must read this.

Bravo Re - this is exhaustive, balanced, insightful and truthful.
Could not have said it better myself - and you are so much more objective, and also charming (!) than I will ever be - to wit you did not use the f word even one single time! :)


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Investigatory Bite?

And I cite,
It [the shark] opened its massive mouth and as it's closed its mouth it kind of ripped down as it went to swim away," she said. "There was one metre [missing] off Callum's body. 
I was horrified, then I realised it was just the fin. We're just lucky that it was an investigatory bite and didn't involve any missing limbs. Once we got back on the boat I was pretty upset and a little bit shocked, but it's a really beautiful encounter with out of our most revered apex predator" 
What a load of horse manure - beautiful encounter my ass!

No that was not an investigatory nibble.
That was a predatory attack, and like they often do, that GWS was trying to immobilize its prey and went for the propulsion; and the dude is really incredibly lucky that he merely lost a fin and not his leg. Seriously, can we please  stop the bloody whitewashing and finally let Sharks be Sharks.

Thank you.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Breaching OWTs - Paper!

GSD member Epic Diving - best operator to dive with OWTs. Source.

Very nice!

Read this!
It is obviously not only about breaching OWTs, but the breach it describes is totally spectacular - story here
Yannis and Yuuki are quickly establishing themselves as the gurus of small multi-use electronic packages that can be temporarily affixed to the Sharks in varying configurations, and are thus able to help find answers to the most diverse scientific questions.
Way to go Team Predator!

Like always, very impressed.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Feeding Swordfish - just amazing!

Baby Swordfish - cute as hell.  Source.

Source - enjoy!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

GWS and Diver!


Scary scary shit - and probably legit!
This is apparently South Africa where Death by GWS is most definitely a reality!

Inverted Trophic Pyramids - Paper!

Read this.

Very interesting!
And with all that evidence, it appears pretty conclusive that those counter-intuitive inverted pyramids do indeed exist.

And the examples at top?
Still not at all convinced, see this post - and I cite from the paper,
However, instances in which energy is exogenously sourced to create top-heaviness (e.g. from another time or another ecological space) present more opportunity for healthy debate.
If, for instance, we allow ourselves to view the operation of communities at non-traditionally ambitious spatial and temporal scales, many of these systems become less top-heavy – or not top-heavy at all. Top-heavy coral reef communities in which mobile consumers draw energy from neighbouring pelagic communities, for example, begin to look more Eltonian when the dynamics of multiple communities are viewed collectively. 

The underlying challenge is that by habit or necessity, the modus operandi of many ecologists is to survey the biomass contained within a community in a snapshot fashion – and such practices poorly acknowledge the spatially and temporally remote processes that shape community structure.
Yes fished remote islands and atolls have less Sharks and big predators (because they have been fished away) and feature conventional trophic pyramids - but unless convinced of the contrary, I must insist that those pristine, unfished ones still don't feature those inverted trophic pyramids (read it!) - at least not permanently!

Enjoy the paper!

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Fiji's Shark Feeders!

Thank you Sophie - much appreciated!
And thank you Jayne! :)


Okinawa - bigass GWS!

That's one big beautiful Shark - and some seriously krazy kamikaze divers!
This is the last population of GWS everybody knows about but nobody can properly study as there are no known hotspots like mating or feeding aggregations, or nurseries, and the sightings are rare and extremely widely spread geographically.

Story here - enjoy!

Monday, January 01, 2018

Ministry of Fisheries - awesome!

White Teatfish - remember? Source.

Love it!

Fiji's Ministry of Fisheries is showing some teeth - finally!
First they did effectively shut down the illegal trade in bêche-de-mer that has been driving the widespread poaching, and maiming and killing numerous young Fijians. And now they have banned the harvesting and trade in live rock and live coral that has equally been a scourge to our marine biodiversity. Hopefully the latter ban will be relaxed once the coral farmers can come up with a verified sustainable product - but for now the blanket ban is certainly the best solution.
PS - it is complicated - H/T Saffron Pimpernell!

Bravo Fisheries - we are proud of you!
Our Elasmobranchs next please!

Ivory - excellent News!

No more of this shit - source.

Read this.
Bravo Xi Jinping and Barack Obama!

Shark Bite!

Oh well - watch this.

PS - Hahahahahahaha - embedding has been disabled - but of course it has not been deleted as Freek wants to continue showcasing his heroic feat: you can watch it right here!
PPS - and now it has been retracted...
PPPS - and in case you missed it: here it is on another page!

Oh and here is the video - til it gets retracted again.... hahahahahahaha... seriously, how fucking pathetic is that!

Well what can I say.
That baited reefie snorkel where Doc weans his students and select visitors off their selachophobia has always been sketchy as all it took was some wrong movement and/or highly competitive situation and/or a particularly frisky individual to trigger a bite - and q.e.d.!
Not really impressed by the lack of proper first aid materials (QuikClot please!) on the boat, not really impressed by the absence of a medical professional and not really impressed by what appears to be a rather nonchalant evacuation protocol - but this is obviously not a tourist setup but a science lab, and the risk assessment and liability implications may indeed be different. But still - so let the learning curve be steep as shit will continue to happen!

And the dude?
I must say that he did handle it quite well, and that my personal impression that he was a bit of a wanker has improved accordingly - tho was there really any urgent need to show this to the masses at large? So here's to said masses learning that Sharks are never, ever puppy dogs, and that engaging in stupid behavior with wildlife is, well, stupid.

In diesem Sinne - Happy New Year everybody!