Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Chagos 2016 - Day 8

Scientists from TRCC and GTOPP are at sea in the Indian Ocean with the Bertarelli Foundation's Chagos Archipelago Science Expedition 2016.  Dr Heather Koldewey, Chief Scientist of the Expedition, wrote:

Day 8 highlights – 12th April 2016, Egmont Atoll

Seamount tagging day!

In a positive change from the original schedule (due to no longer needing to drop kit at Diego Garcia at the end of the trip), we spent today at Sandes/Swart seamounts with the sole focus on tagging sharks.
The coral reef team helped out the tagging team, enjoyed the experience of helping tag sharks, and/or spent time preparing kit, processing samples and data.

Sandes seamount above and below the water – an incredible number of sharks which was encouraging to see. Shark abundance we should aim for throughout the reserve.

Working in shifts, the tagging team worked from early morning to dusk.

In addition to deploying tags, small tissue samples were taken for DNA and isotope analysis to be processed back in the lab.

A record total of 32 sharks were tagged today which was an outstanding achievement by the tagging team!
A series of new receivers were also deployed on the two seamounts, which will help track movements of tagged sharks around the Archipelago. 
The reef team tried to document the reefs on top of Sandes seamount without success, but did get some great shark images!

Particular thanks to the Captain and crew of Vava II today for supporting the tagging team so ably, especially in challenging sea conditions. The team were able to achieve a record tagging day thanks to you!

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