LAMAVE joins Philippine Siren in Tubbataha for a special Shark/Ray behaviour trip

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siren-fleet (1)While the Tubbataha 2016 season is barely over, Siren Fleet are already looking forward to the coming season, which is already filling up swiftly. Check out this exciting event in spring 2017: hop on board the Philippine Siren on Siren Fleet’s 29 March – 4 April 2017 6-night cruise and get even more out of your Tubbataha liveaboard dive trip.

  • Assist the LAMAVE team in monitoring tiger shark and gray reef shark behaviour.
  • Join in for exploratory dives to deploy new acoustic receivers to track individual (whale) sharks, manta rays and analyse the gathered data from existing receivers.
  • Help with identifying individual tagged species of (whale) sharks, manta rays and turtles to be able to count their numbers.

logo-2014-smLAMAVE – Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines – is the largest independent non-profit non-governmental organisation dedicated to the conservation of marine megafauna and the protection of their habitats in the Philippines. They have been working with the Tubbataha Management Office and it’s rangers since 2015 to assess the biodiversity, shark/ray behaviour and study the whereabouts of shark/ray species in the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. You can find out more about LAMAVE at www.lamave.org.

One of the main goals of this expedition on the Philippine Siren is to retrieve and deploy acoustic monitoring stations, and download the data for the first time to see how tiger sharks and gray reef sharks use the North and South Atolls of Tubbataha Reefs.

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Working in close collaboration with the park rangers, LAMAVE apply several research techniques to gather their data. The divers will be trained in these data collection methods, especially in Photo-Identification. This technique aims to identify single individual animals based on the distribution of the unique spots and stripes patterns on their body. Divers will be able to match each of their photos taken during the encounter with the national and international catalogue to learn more about the history of each individual mantas and whale sharks and directly contribute to the conservation of the species.  The so called Citizen Science does not stop with whale sharks and mantas. LAMAVE, in collaboration with the Tubbataha Management Office, use divers’ photos and reports to assess the biodiversity of these amazing corners of paradise.

To date, LAMAVE’s research has shown the presence of 23 different species of sharks and rays within the park. Besides their research activities, an equally important part of their work is providing information, education and raising awareness. LAMAVE’s researchers visit local schools, offer film screenings, conduct community art projects and give lectures on plastic pollution, sustainability, coral reefs and (whale) sharks.

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Whilst on board, Gonzalo Araujo, who is one of LAMAVE’s executive directors, will give several presentations on LAMAVE’s research. Gonzalo has been working in the Philippines since 2011 and joined LAMAVE in July 2012. Ever since, he has supervised whale shark research and conservation across different sites in the Philippines. He is interested in the movement and ecology of marine megafauna and how we can study them through minimally to non-invasive methods. This includes the use of lasers – photogrammetry, satellite and acoustic tags, remote cameras and new technologies involving DNA. Understanding a species presence and whereabouts is essential to advise the authorities and ensure their conservation.

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Worldwide Dive & Sail embraces LAMAVE’s work and objectives and will donate a portion of all income of this cruise to them. So sign up for this special cruise, in order for you to participate and contribute in multiple ways to help this NGO continue their valuable work. Contact the Worldwide Dive and Sail team today at philippines@wwdas.com for more information and bookings.

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