The first week of the programme has seen the interns working through what seems to be a huge amount of work, learning the different monitoring activities, how to record them accurately, enter them into the data-bases and mastering the physical skills that are going to be needed….
Joining the interns are two young local volunteers, Rachel Pool and Clara Anganuzzi, from the International School Seychelles, who have helped make the transition from hard data to digital records seem like child’s play!
And what a busy week it has been; besides learning the monitoring systems and data handling and entry, the team have also had to cope with the physical skills. Starting with snorkelling, progressing to free-diving, to photo ID a target at 5 metres, to practise with a camera system fitted with lasers pointers to measure the sharks’ length… and then there was setting up plankton tows… and getting up above it all for the aerial surveys….
To top it all micro-light pilot David Daniel located some whale sharks at the South of the island so the team could go out and do it all for real!
While the shark that David and Luke found for the team was somewhat less than cooperative, staying at a depth of 10 metres or more, Katie was able to show the team how it was done and the interns eagerly ran the photos through I3S to discover that the shark was a repeat from 2007…. And so the season begins!