Monday, October 21, 2013

Reef Shark Research in Moorea: Day 1

Greetings!  Over the next few days, we will be blogging from Moorea in French Polynesia!  We will be working on a variety of reef sharks – especially blacktip reef sharks, as we investigate their feeding, behavior, and importance to the health of reefs.   I’ll be working with Linda Heithaus, Jeremy Kiszka, and Johann Mourier.   We have a pretty impressive array of tools and goals so it should be a fun trip!  Hope you enjoy!

Mike Heithaus

October 20th, 2013

Linda, Jeremy, and I were up early after a late arrival in Tahiti.  It took two cars to get us - and all of our gear - to the ferry, but by just after nine we were making the crossing from Tahiti to Moorea.  The water here is amazing – crystal clear– and the vegetation is incredibly lush.   After a bit of a drive, we met up with Johann at CRIOBE and got the lab set up.  Not that anything happened, but if anybody is coming to French Polynesia, remember that even though your iPod charger can handle 240 volts, American power strips usually can’t! 

Most of the day was spent settling in but around sunset we made it to one of the sicklefin lemon and blacktip reef shark nurseries where we will be working.  We set the net but a combination of low water and heavy wind conspired against us.  Still, we did see an adult blacktip reef shark and a ray cruise through after dark.   Tomorrow we should be able to really get started if we can get some bait early in the day!
Waiting in LA...almost time to go!

Waking up in Tahiti

Obviously we need more stuff

Jeremy, Johann, and Linda at the CRIOBE station

Waiting for the ferry

Jeremy and Mike almost to Moorea
Linda and Mike on the ferry

The view from our hotel

Setting the net to catch baby sharks

The local dogs were very interested in the fishing effort...

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