Saturday, 5 September 2015

Shark Week: Day 6

The penultimate day of Shark Week was a busy one. We had visitors from the Community College in Semporna, reef cleans, beach cleans, coral transplant programmes and an incredible presentation. 

We had staff and interns, along with some volunteers, get stuck into a reef clean. As previously mentioned it is a sad fact that these are necessary but they do make a huge difference. It was inspiring to see that we had customers willing to give up their fun diving, or even days off to aid the reef clean. Between reef cleans we had everyone involved in a beach clean. Again, the sun was shining so it was sweaty work. 

Debris left on beaches or washed into the ocean causes a plethora of problems. Not only is it unsightly, but it threatens many of our much loves marine creatures. Turtles mistakenly consume plastic - this causes blockages in their digestive system. This blockage creates a build up of gas, which ultimately means they are unable to dive down underwater to feed - the turtle then starves to death. And it is not just turtles that are affected. Photos of manta rays surround by garbage have outrages divers across the world. Birds are also being found with stomachs full of plastic. 
The coral transplant project was undertaken in the afternoon. The aim of the programme is to promote coral reef growth. Coral reefs are one of the most complex and diverse ecosystems on the planet. They sustain the life of thousands of species. They are facing serious threats and many species of coral are listed as 'threatened' on the IUCN Red list. Artificial reefs give corals another chance to grow and flourish. We collect fragments of coral that would otherwise die and bring them to our coral nursery. Here they get a second chance and also attract loads of marine life! 

Whilst all this was going on we also had a visit for the Community College in Semporna. Environmental Officer Dave took them on the Fish ID snorkel! He talked them through the various species of fish we commonly see in this area and the ways to identify them. They also helped out with our beach clean. It was a fun filled day all round! 

In the evening we had the return of an old friend - Christian Loader. Christian works for Scubazoo and was here documenting our first ever Shark Week last year. In our busiest presentation yet,  he gave a talk on 'Shooting Sharks - how to take photos of sharks'. He recounted us with stories of the various situations he has been in whilst trying to get some of his stunning photos of sharks, described the methods and camera settings for achieving these shots and the various places across the globe he had been to. There is no doubt that Christian has taken some beautiful pictures over the years and has been privilege to some incredible sightings. He presentation was fascinating for all, the beauty of the photos was clear to everyone. 

The last day of Shark Week is here.... It's going to be a busy day. Keep and eye on the Scuba Junkie Facebook for an update on what happened! 

Facts about Whale Sharks

  • The Whale Shark is the largest fish in the ocean
  • They have been tracked travelling thousands of kilometres 
  • They have 300 tiny teeth in their mouth - but no one knows why seeing as they are filter feeders 
  • The give birth to live young
  • There is very little known about their reproductive behaviour 

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