Learn More About The Shark Species Found On Our Brand-New Project!

Learn More About The Shark Species Found On Our Brand-New Project!

Posted by Leanne Sturrock on 6th Feb 2017

Following last week’s launch of our new Shark Research And Conservation Project, we thought it wise to explain a little more about the marvellous species that can be found in the waters at Baja Calfornia Sur, Mexico. While you may be lucky enough to spot such creatures as mobula rays, whales, sea lions and dolphins whilst on your adventures, the project provides volunteers with the opportunity to get up close and personal with some seriously amazing shark species. Allow us to tell you more…

Behold…Bull Sharks

bull shark

Instantly recognisable by their stout appearance, dark tops and white underbellies, bull sharks are just one of the species that you’ll be working with on this project. Bull sharks prefer shallow, coastal waters and are really quite solitary creatures, rarely spending time in groups except to mate. This species of shark is somewhat threatened, being more at risk of pollution and habitat degradation (as well as being more open to threat due to their coastal habitats), and it’s for this reason that the people of Baja California Sur go to great lengths to protect the species.

Cabo Pulmo National Park is a key example of how conservation efforts have helped this species to thrive – after being close to the brink of destruction, Baja’s people and their government put plans into place to ban fishing activities in the park, in the hopes of protecting this fascinating species. As part of the trip, volunteers will of course visit Cabo Pulmo National Park, where they will perform basic shark population census during SCUBA surveys. Behavioural information will also be collected here, which will allow studies to continue in the area, as well as providing an agreeable location for bull shark populations to thrive.

Witness…Whale Sharks

whale shark

Known to many as the gentle giants of the ocean, whale sharks are the largest of all shark (and fish!) species. Indeed, these creatures are incredibly amiable, posing limited threat to humans and filter-feeding on tiny morsels, such as plankton, fish eggs and larvae. It’s quite amazing that these marine mammoths are of any size at all, isn’t it!

While on the project, volunteers will carry out several non-invasive fieldwork protocols, performing photo-ID sessions and size-estimation surveys when snorkeling along the whale sharks. In addition to this, water and tissue sampling may be conducted (though this is not a confirmed part of your trip, and rather will be done wherever possible.)

Take A Peep At…Pelagic Species

blue shark

Finally, let’s talk about the pelagic species found at this project! The term ‘pelagic’ refers to sharks that live in the open waters of seas and oceans, inhabiting temperate and tropical waters and migrating when necessary. Species of shark that fit this category include makos, blue sharks, hammerheads and silky sharks; and volunteers can look forward to performing basic shark census surveys: counting the number of each particular species; identifying all species present at the dive; collecting behavioural data; and even creating a bond with the sharks that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world. On top of the important conservation efforts that this trip provides, what more reason do you need to check out volunteering with sharks?


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