by Annie Anderson
In my first blog I explained how late last year I spent six weeks volunteering at the world famous Sharklab in Bimini, The Bahamas. In this blog I discuss some of the many activities I participated in.
Ok so the glamorous life of a shark researcher isn’t always that glamorous. Some of my first duties as a volunteer involved building semi-captive pens for housing sharks ready for experiments, shark night fishing off the dock, and supporting Ph.D. candidate Jean-Sebastien Finger with his video trials focusing on shark behaviour and personality. Several times however I was able to go on amazing shark dives with over 12 Caribbean reef and Blacknose sharks, which were breathtaking experiences! The not so glamorous duties meant I also had to assist with cleaning the lab i.e. scrubbing toilets and prepping meals; all necessary tasks but thankfully I love cleaning!
|Weighting the sharks during Mini-PIT|
|Checking the gillnet every 15 minutes|
|Sharks in the tagging boat|
|Repairing the gillnets during the day|
Another reason for their capture is to monitor shark behaviour ‘personality traits’ through various observations. Sharks are held and observed in pens for short periods of time, usually not more than two weeks, and are subsequently released.
|Beach cleanup time!|
|The world famous Bimini shark snorkel|
|We're gonna need a bigger boat!|
|Thanksgiving in the Sharklab kitchen|
So I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my time at the lab and that it inspires you in some way. In the coming weeks I plan to blog about my recent great hammerhead free-diving experience so watch this space fellow shark lovers and stay tuned!
Annie Anderson is the founder of Sharks Need Love. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger. More photos from Sharklab are posted to Shark Defenders Facebook Page. You can follow Sharklab on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates from the station.