Saturday, November 25, 2017

Don't eat the Reef Fish!


Remember this post?
Now I discover that Palau wants to build an offshore fleet in order to fish for Tuna and other pelagics within 20% of its EEZ - and that is a good thing, and this not only economically but also ecologically! 
With the Pacific Islands running out of Fish due to a combination of rampant overfishing, habitat destruction and climate change (read it - this is truly frightening shit!), reducing the consumption of coastal Fish in favor of pelagic species becomes increasingly important - and this by both locals and visitors.

Very interesting paper here.
Required reading!

Friday, November 24, 2017


And you moronic Whale huggers.
Yes YOU, with all your new age garbage, your breathy noise and your misguided pseudo-conservation: this has happened on your watch, and I am laying it squarely at your feet.

And the Māui?
We shall see shall we not!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Reef Shark Competition - Paper!

Reeftop hunters: Blacktip Reefies. Fantastic image by Tom!

And talking of those Reefies.

Here's another great paper.
Assuming I understand it correctly, it illustrates how Grey and Blacktip Reefies segregate spatially and are thus able to partition their habitat and consequently, its resources = prey. 
Whereas I've always believed that the Greys would always outcompete the Blacktips based on size and aggression, the paper conclusively illustrates how the segregation is based on the the fact that each species derives a competitive advantage by being better adapted to specific spatial niches, i.e. the forereef for the Greys and the backreef and lagoon for the Blacktips - incidentally, much like is being illustrated at Shark Reef!

Once again, I'm impressed by the scope and the rigor.
Well done Yannis and Co - and impressive lineup, too! :)

Required reading - enjoy!

Second Alert!

Have a good look at the above - click for detail.

Yes it is shocking.
Article here, paper here - read them, and then go and fucking do something!

And no I really got nothing to add.

Shark Eyes?

Butterfly eye spots: likely not mimicry but rather, aimed at startling and distracting - source.


I'm sure this may surprise you - but I kinda like this?
There's a website with some info, some of which quite good - but some probably not so much, as in the whole treatment of (Batesian?) mimicry in general and eye spots in particular, as the scientific  interpretation  of the latter is at best inconclusive. 
But of course we all know that those predatory Sharks are highly opportunistic, and that when they try to sneak up on us, they will generally veer away once we look at them - so the analogy to those Tiger deterrent masks from the Sundarbans may actually be quite fitting!

Any caveats? Most certainly!
  • First and foremost, I wonder whether the likely target species, i.e. the archetypal GWS attacking a surfboard would even properly discern those eyes = assuming that it would be attacking from below and thus aim for a silhouette, the underside of the surfboard with those eyes would likely be too dark? Any way of having those eyes glow?

  • Secondly, like in all those cases, caveat habituation whereby even those Bangladeshi Tigers did apparently stop being fooled after a while?

  • And lastly (but this is by far not exhaustive!), here's to those surfers refraining from feeling bite-proof and negating the benefits of the deterrent by engaging in riskier behavior!
Plus, were it me, I would a) not buy a decal but paint my own eyes onto my board instead, and b) they would be much bigger as I would position them lengthwise!

But, I generally like it!
It is non-invasive, cheap and certainly plausible, as are those mask straps - the latter certainly not for Shark nerds like us, but maybe for other water users like abalone divers etc. 

So godspeed and all.
I obviously doubt that there will ever be (and here!) any conclusive science - but it is surely worth a try!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Shark-mediated Trophic Cascade in Fiji - Paper!

Reeftop predators: Blacktip Reefie and Bluefin Trevallies - great pic by Allen!


Read this.
It illustrates how Reef Sharks influence the behavior of seaweed grazers and consequently, consistently influence the size and distribution of seaweed on the back reef of Votua, i.e. right in front of the iconic Eco Café, home of Fiji's very best wood-fired pizza, friendliest service and most beautiful smiles. 
  Click for detail!

Well done Doug and Mark.
I must really say that this is science at its best, with observations leading to questions and then a proper hypothesis that is being rigorously tested, exactly as it should be. What I also like, is that the authors refrain from unduly exaggerating and generalizing the role (and trophic ranking!) of Reef Sharks but instead attribute the cascading effects to the specific situation alone - again exactly as it should be.

Required reading.

Friday, November 10, 2017

TGIF: Sixgills vs Sub!


Amazing - story here!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

GWS vs BRUV - Video!

That sure is a lot of effort for a tiny canister of Sardines!
Story here - enjoy!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Bird-eating GTs - Video!


This is beyond awesome.
Latest since that paper, I knew that those GTs are totally badass - but seeing this, along with the unbelievably spectacular footage and the awesome editing simply leaves me in total awe!
And yes this would obviously be the BBC - who else!

H/T Serena - enjoy!