Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fishing for Sharks!

Never trust those scientists!

Especially Juerg!
Whilst I'm still pondering what to say, and what not to say, about our latest expedition to Fiji's Shark-infested rivers, he has jumped the gun, hijacked my exclusive scoop and posted a detailed description on his SOSF blog. Well, gee, thanks!
So much for my pondering!

Lemme tell you, it has been an adventure!
From choosing the right bait (in Eroni's native Vanua Levu, the Shark fishermen swear by roast mongoose - and no, we did not try that!) to employing the right technique to choosing the correct tide, location and time of the day, it's been a lot of trial and even more error, as in nada de nada de nada!
I won't go into details but our valiant Victor, Eroni and Tumbi were finally successful after rigging up an elaborate longline and the mysterious "river Sharks" are pretty much confirmed as being juvenile Bulls! They are really tiny, with disproportionately big eyes and a characteristic black rim to the caudal fin that will disappear once they become adults, and my guess is that they could very well be this December's crop of newborns!
Is that cool, or what!

Now before anybody gets too excited.

Yes we fish for Sharks as we want to determine their pupping grounds in order to get them protected. We also want to get small tissue samples for Mahmood's groundbreaking genetic mapping.

Contrary to the behemoths that get severely hurt in the process as their body weight will crush their internal organs once they're out of the water, these very small Sharks can be safely landed and are being returned to the water within a few minutes after having been measured and sexed and after removal of a small fin clipping. All very fast, non-invasive and respectful!

As to Juerg, I guess I will forgive him- for now!
Especially since he's due next week and there's a rumor that he may be carrying some Vacherin Mont d'Or and Sprüngli Truffes du Jour - see below!
How could I possibly hold a grudge in view of that!

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