The team did well both with their introduction to the data handling with Katie Brooks and also the first of the in-water skill building tasks with Luke Riley. Luke had pressed in to service one of the aerial survey target whale sharks as an in-water photo ID target and the interns soon became adept at free-diving down to take its ID photograph at a depth of 5 m. Once everyone was up to speed on that they moved on to using the laser size ranging system to capture images with a half-metre reference to allow accurate sizing by photo analysis…. So far so good but how would they get on with a real shark?
If this wasn’t enough fun, microlight pilot David Daniel started to introduce them to the sights and sounds of aerial survey around
Assisted by Luke, pilot David located a single shark off the South of Mahe for the team to go out and put into practise all the skills they had learned during the last week, and yes it all worked!
Enter stage left a young male shark that was somewhat shy and preferred to stay some 10 metres or so below the surface….. However, Katie captured his photo ID and the team diligently ran the photos through I3S and discovered he was in fact a repeat visitor from last year, seen on September 23rd and October 1st off the