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Showing posts from February, 2013

Blackfin Reef Shark Evacuation from Moorea Island, 2002

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Blackfin reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) reside in the lagoons and on the outer slope of the barrier reefs of Moorea Island. This coral habitat is shallow enough to facilitate underwater observation of the species. Regular observation at different sites centering in the Vaihapu region (Galzin and Pointer 1985) yielded a large amount of data on their movements, ethology, and social biology between 1999 and 2007 (Porcher 2005). In 2002, all blackfin reef sharks under observation, not only by the author but also by the dive clubs holding shark dives, left the north shore of the island for a period of ten days to two weeks. This event suggests an unknown pattern or influence at work.
With the surprising new information from Johann Mourier, that these sharkseasily travel between islands, I'm re-posting my account of their unexplained and unprecedented disappearance from Moorea Island in late July, 2002.

Johann began studying the same sharks that I observed, using far more hig…