Friday, October 24, 2014
TAG Canada is underway. A team from Stanford, Monterey Bay Aquarium and Acadia University led by Dr. Steve Wilson, Robbie Schallert and Dr. Mike Stokebury are tagging giants in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada. Tuna are being tagged with sophisticated miniPAT tags and long-term acoustic tags, with a goal of understanding how these bluefin utilize the Gulf of Mexico spawning area closures. This is the 7th year the TAG, MBA, Stanford team has been in Canada- and the 145th tuna in Canadian waters to receive these high tech tags. Some new accelerometry tags are also being tested in an effort supported by ONR, to determine how fast a giant bluefin goes.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Today marks the opening day of the 55th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. It is also the sixth year for the Great Marlin Race, which was launched here in celebration of the HIBT's 50th Anniversary.
As the teams started arriving at the "Shouting Room" (a giant open-air tent where the angling teams assemble before and after fishing), the IGFA's Eric Combast and I knew that we had our work cut out for us. We had lined up sponsors for 4-1/2 of the 10 tags we had with us, and being optimists, we brought 6 down.
Within minutes, Whangaroa Billfish Club's Keith Allan stepped forward and offered to sponsor a tag to send out with his lovely wife Janice. I was happy to oblige, and glad to have their continued support in this year's race.
I set up tags for Rocky Franich from the Pajaro Valley Game Fish Club, Ralph Czabayski of the Game Fishing Club of South Australia, and last year's winning team of Mitchell and Marty Firestein, who are fishing this year as part of the Laguna Niguel Billfish Club.
I had the pleasure of getting on Humdinger with co-founders of the Great Marlin Race, Bob and Sally Kurz, also with Laguna Niguel. It was just coming up on 10 AM when a nice 250 lb. blue came up on the short rigger. Sally was in the chair and watched this great fish grayhound across the surface about 50 yards off the stern. Once she dove, though, the fight was on. Sally settled in for a tough battle, gaining only six inches of line at a time.
After more than an hour, deckhand Brett Fay leadered the marlin alongside the boat, setting up Bob Kurz for a perfect shot with the tag. Moments later she was away, swimmimng strong.
As it turned out, this was actually the second satellite deployed so far today - the first being the one Keith Allan sponsored this morning, which was placed on a marlin while Sally was battling hers.
This is a fantastic start to the event, and hopefully marks the beginning of a great week. Keep checking back!
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Today we have completed the installation of a network of underwater receivers that will provide both real time updates and the capacity to monitor this - the largest Marine Protected Coral Reef Atoll in the world. Our "Wired Ocean" concept is now allowing the international team to follow the reef ecosystem in real time, and over the next decade. The first ocean observation devices have also been installed providing oxygen and temperature measurements that should enable initiation of long term climate data.
Thanks to our the crew and the scientists, along with the Bertarelli Foundation and Rolex, for helping to make this transfer of technology happen!
Friday, March 28, 2014
|Dr. Taylor Chapple (right) tests a newly-placed buoy|
With back up assistance from Amirix and back and forth with our California team, Dr. Taylor Chapple, Robbie Schallert and the multi-national expedition have succeeded in deploying and testing these biological ocean observation tools. Now as sharks swim by, we will be able to monitor their movements at two points - moving in and out of the largest atoll in the world, Peros Banhos.
At other locations we have placed four underwater VR4 UM monitors that will provide the capacity to monitor and uplink shark movements to a surface modem.
Aaron Carlisle, Dave Tickler, John Dale, and the crew have worked together to place 44 underwater monitors that are “marine animal detectors” at key locations between two atolls (Peros Banhos and Salamon Islands) providing extensive coverage of the region.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
|Aaron and Dave working hard|
Currently the team is at Salomon Atoll, where we’re recovering a VR4 Global, to rebattery and reposition, and then placing VR4 Ums near the Channel. Our on board team has been very successful tagging grey reef sharks and silvertips. They report easily placing the acoustic tags into 10 sharks over at Salomon Atoll and 20 over at Peros Banhos. The placement of the tags at the two atolls, separated by over 30 km, will help discern the connectivity between the two regions. VR4 Globals, which have been in place for over a year, are now getting fresh batteries, new flotation collars and beefed-up moorings. Soon we’ll be hearing from these shark in the
|The arrival of the tagging gear was a celebrated event|
Monday, March 24, 2014
|A "shark-eye" view of the reef, from a camera on a grey reef shark|
Dr. Taylor Chapple and team have successfully deployed the CATS camera tag on a grey reef shark and the view below of the Chagos is stunning! These tags are put on for short durations by attachment to the dorsal fins. The grey reef has recorded several hours of footage and this snapshot provides a “shark-eye” view of the coral paradise called home.
|(L-R) Dave Tickler, Aaron Carlisle and Taylor Chapple on the fantail|
Friday, March 14, 2014
|A VR4 Global buoy floats off the Central California coast to detect white sharks and other tagged predators swimming past|
|One of our VR4 Global buoys arrives in the Maldives, to detect predators around the Chagos Archipelago|