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Project Shark: Maldives



Project Shark: Maldives
After a wonderful week of getting used to the heat and the beautiful turquoise waters in the Maldives, I found myself back on land; waiting at Male airport for the guests booked onto blue o two’s first Project Shark: Maldives week.I was a little nervous to start with, but everyone was really friendly and talkative and I soon felt completely at ease. And so it began!

We dived at South Ari atoll, where we were very fortunate to encounter several manta rays dancing around so gracefully at their cleaning stations. They seemed very curious and came in close to our group, which of course meant the photographers amongst us took some lovely shots! On one dive we happened across a whale shark, which was just beautiful. I’ve never had the honour of diving with one of these creatures before and it was truly amazing.

The next stop was the channels of Felidhu and Meemu; here the currents ranged from mild, to what the dive guides called “oh my gosh”. The early morning dives were the best here; there were more sharks than you could shake a stick at!! Grey reef sharks, white and black tip reef sharks, silvertips…we certainly weren’t short of entertainment! It was a remarkable sight, especially given the worrying status of shark populations worldwide.

Throughout the week, I gave four presentations which discussed sharks and rays in the Maldives, shark and ray biology, threats to shark and ray populations, and global conservation efforts. The presentations were a lot of fun – I had a fantastic audience and it was great to be able to share my knowledge on a subject about which I am very passionate.

I have just finished going through some of the photos we took and, thanks to the resources provided by the Manta Trust, have managed to identify all the mantas we saw! We had the privilege of diving with Rabbit, Roxy, Reject, Snoozer, Spliff and Rat-Fink. The Manta Trust will be adding these photos to their Maldivian Manta Ray Project database, which helps towards learning the movements and behaviour of these mantas – important in aiding implementation of conservation management practices for these wonderful animals.

If you want to experience more sharks than you can shake a stick at and contribute to vital research, join me on the next Project Shark: Maldives adventure on the 28th February 2014!

Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

NEW: White Shark Interest Group Podcast Series – #003 – TOUCHING SHARKS



Third in an exciting podcast series from Ricardo Lacombe of the White Shark Interest Group.

Episode 3 of the White Shark Interest Group Podcast, Facebook’s largest White Shark specific group, covering science, conservation, news, photography, video and debate.

This episode features Melissa, Dirk, Javier and Ricardo discussing TOUCHING SHARKS and FREEDIVING WITH SHARKS. Is it OK to touch sharks? Does it do damage to the shark? What are the benefits of it for shark conservation efforts? How do modern day social media personalities like Ocean Ramsey differ from the pioneers who began the practice of touching and diving with Great Whites, like Andre Hartman, Michael Rutzen or Manny Puig? Always a hot topic!

Click the links below to listen to the podcast series on the following audio channels:

Join the group:



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Marine Life & Conservation

Review: David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet



Regular contributors, CJ & Mike from Bimble in the Blue, review the Netlix documentary: David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet

David Attenborough’s latest and arguably most important documentary to date is now showing on Netflix.  It is, in his own words, his “witness statement” of a unique life exploring and documenting the wonders of the natural world.

Attenborough looks back and realizes that the previously gradual changes he witnessed (animal species becoming harder to find and fewer wild spaces) have now become vastly more widespread and noticeable. As the human population increased, so has the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide, while the amount of wilderness has decreased.  His conclusion: human activity and man-made climate change have accelerated the pace of biodiversity loss.  This not only imperils the majority of natural habitats and creatures on Earth, but also the very future of humankind.

From images of lush green landscapes we journey with him over time to revisit these places, now wastelands. One of the most haunting is the contrast between early footage of orangutans swinging through the rainforest, to recent images of an orangutan clinging onto a lone tree devoid of all but one branch in the wreckage of a deforested site. Attenborough then makes a statement that has stuck with me since watching “A Life On This Planet”: that though we undoubtably have an obligation to care for the natural world, it’s not just about saving other species.  It is about saving ourselves.  His drive and determination to advocate and spread this message as much as possible at the age of 94 is both impressive and humbling, yet Attenborough manages to make this serious subject an unexpectedly positive learning experience.

In the final chapter of the movie Attenborough turns from the bleak reality of the destruction of Earth’s biodiversity, and offers a lifeline of hope and positivity. We can, he tells us, reverse the damage we have caused, we can save our species and the wonders of the natural world, and it can be done with just a few conceptually simple actions.  It’s enough to enthuse even the most jaded and pessimistic of conservationists!  Attenborough has an amazing ability to awaken our love of the natural world and now he shows us our future is in our hands. It’s time to act.  But we must start now and it must be a united effort.

You don’t have to be a scuba diver to be impressed with the eloquence of David Attenborough’s words, or his powerful yet simple message. We are self-confessed Attenborough super fans, but I don’t think anyone could contest that this is a stunning 1 hour and 20 minutes of hard hitting brilliance. The film closes with the comment, “Who else needs to see it?” The answer is all of us.  We highly recommend this documentary to everyone. Put simply if you watch no other documentary this year, watch this one.

For more from CJ and Mike please visit their website here.

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