Friday, July 16, 2010
Shark Chronicles 070 - Aliwal Marine Lab
Since arriving in Scottsburgh, we have gone on seven dives in about 10 days. Three of the dives have been tiger dives, where we have encountered 20-25 blacktips on each dive and have spotted one juvenile tiger. The blacktips are abundant and we have had some close encounters. We are currently looking at population numbers, sex ratios, size and behavior with these sharks. Getting interaction with the tiger has proven to be a little more difficult but we are talking about the apex predators of that area thus often elusive.
The other dives have been on some beautiful reefs in the area and on the Produce shipwreck. On the Cathedral site we counted 8 to 9 raggies and we able to get fairly close to them despite poor visibility. The beauty of diving with raggies is the absolutely no need for chumming to find them. We can encounter them in their natural habitat and able to observe their behavior. It was almost a little eerie entering the murky cove at Cathedral with seven raggies swimming in and out of the shadows around us.
Recently, we have had some bad weather that hasn’t allowed us the launch the past few days. On the days we can’t dive, we have started a Reef Check course which will allow us to learn certain indicator species and take surveys to help determine the overall health of the coral reef.