Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Scarface from Malaysia!

Stellar portrait by Lill - notice the spiracle?

Despite of my usual reservations: cute PSA from Malaysia!

It features footage of Scarface along with the smaller Adi and our oldest (but not anymore biggest) Bull lady Granma, all from the Fiji Shark Dive on Shark Reef!


The bad news: we haven't seen Scarface since November!
No I'm not hinting that something has happened. She was heavily pregnant and may have just gone walkabout to give birth - and judging from what we know from research in the Atlantic and Hawaii, that may have been a long long way away!

But there's also this.
There may just be too many Bulls!
The population of Bulls keeps increasing and we have certainly noticed a corresponding decrease in the number of the other deeper water species like the Nurses, Silvertips and Lemons. My personal explanation for it is that
  • Bulls prey on Sharks and those impressive numbers may just be to high for comfort,
  • as the Bull Shark numbers are ever increasing, I'm observing (and recording) clear signs of inter-specific aggression whereby the Bulls ram and sometimes bite other species of Shark (but not other Bulls!) that compete for the bait, and finally
  • those other Sharks have a much decreased chance of ever approaching the feeder and that they are consequently not being adequately rewarded for the risks they incur
Yes I'm speculating and yes, Juerg is looking into it!

The same is apparently happening to our Tigers.
In the past, the dozen or so Bulls would slink away whenever one of them would turn up - but not anymore! Even Scarface with her impressive 4.5+ meters appears increasingly hesitant whereas the Bulls are becoming positively cocky, to the point where I've recorded them simply shouldering her away!
Yes size matters - but numbers apparently matter more!

And the good news?
There is no such thing as too many Bull Sharks!
After the usual slight dip at the beginning of April, we're back to 50+ individuals on each dive and well on track for my predicted one hundred in June! The last couple of Shark dives have been, hmmm, hectic and as a consequence, we are now strictly enforcing the pit ban, and this also for long term good friends! So if you are eager to take up the wallpaper challenge, make sure to read our protocols as right now, there will be no exceptions - seriously!

And on this happy note: what are you waiting for!

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