Entries in #sea (2)


Learning The Fish And Dive Training

It has been two weeks since I first stepped foot into Fiji, and I have already learned a ton about the marine life unique to Fiji.

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Shark Tagging 

Shark tagging has definitely been a highlight of my stay in Beqa. We set out in the afternoon not really knowing what to expect but just hoping to catch something and join in on some important field work. The evening was filled with exhaustion from pulling the nets, excitement from actually catching Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks, and focusing to make sure we got the information needed while keeping the sharks as safe as possible.

First, we laid out a 120 meter meter net that the sharks swim into. Then after waiting 20 minutes was the thrilling task of pulling it back in while searching for anything stuck in the net. Everyone eagerly remained silent till someone screams out "shark!"

Then the most important thing was making sure the sharks were not stressed and could be released back into the water as quickly as possible after processing it. First the shark would be scanned to check wether or not it had already been tagged and recorded. If not, a new chip was inserted just behind the right side dorsal fin. Then to get the shark's DNA sample, a clipping was taken out of the pelvic fins. This is equivalent to cutting a finger nail so it causes the shark no pain.

From there, the shark's sex & healing of the umbilical scar are assessed, and measurements of the shark's length and weight are taken.  Then the shark is released back into the water and its release condition is noted. The whole process was such an exciting thing to be a part of! Its amazing to think that all of this research will help legally protect the area as a nursery site for this endangered species.

By Sian Phillips - Marine Conservation Volunteer

Find out more about Frontier's volunteering projects in Fiji.

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