Friday, September 14, 2012

Great Fiji Shark Count - November!

It's that time of the year!

We're gearing up for the second GFSC in November.
You can find all the relevant information in this post and on the website so I need not repeat myself.
Just a reminder, and I cite
The aim is not to find out how many Sharks there are in Fiji!
For that, one would have to try and mobilize everybody everywhere, something that is impossible and would be fraught with immense costs, immense logistical problems and a staggering margin of error!
The aim here is to do a first random sampling and to then regularly repeat the exercise in the same locations. This way, we would be able to establish a first baseline and the starting point of long term monitoring via so-called transects (i.e. your dives, snorkeling excursions and even game fishing trips) which is an excellent scientific tool that will enable us to eventually detect a trend.
And what about the exercise in April?
Christine is currently very very busy, but she has found the time to look at some generic stuff and kindly provided us with the following info

  • Number of dives recorded: 855. 
  • Number of records (ie of divers in water): 3693. 
Dive Effort - black: # of dives; grey: # of replicates
  • Average diver experience: 890 dives. 
  • Average diver experience in Fiji: 458 (that's a lot!). 
  • 18 species reported including 10 sharks, 6 rays and 2 turtles 
  • List of relative commonness of shark species seen: 1. Whitetip reef 2. Grey 3. Tawny Nurse 4. Blacktip reef 5. Bull 6. Silvertip 7. Indo-Pac Lemon 8. Scalloped Hammerhead 9. Leopard 10.Tiger
 Shark Observations - purple: # observed; blue: # of species

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised!
As you may remember, April was absolutely dreadful, with lousy weather, depressed tourist numbers and much of the nation including the most populated tourism hubs in the West reeling from the aftermath of the floods, so I'm fully expecting November's numbers to be way higher.
Having said that, there will be less Bulls as that's smack in the middle of the birthing and later, mating season. There will also be less Participants as we've decided to reduce the numbers to those who really did make the effort to contribute to the above statistics in April as after all, this is primarily about collecting reliable long-term data, and this ideally from always the same locations!

But I'm digressing as always.
Please do consider coming to Fiji to count Sharks, Rays and Turtles!
It's a great vacation and you would be making a contribution to an important endeavor, the first of its kind in the world. Should you decide to participate, consult the list of Participants on the website and make your booking with any of them.

Thank you and c'ya in November!

No comments: