Saturday, September 13, 2014


As the world prepares for the implementation of the shark listings on Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, I continued my work on implementing domestic measures in island countries to protect sharks.
My second day in Trinidad was more packed than the first. Marc took a coworker and me all around the island to see sharks in the market, eat local food, and celebrate a birthday with some new special friends.

Our first stop was the public market where we found a big pile of "puppy sharks." The locals use this phrase to describe any small shark. Usually they end up in bake and shark.

Somebody on Twitter identified these as dusky smoothhound, smalleye smoothhound, and some kind of sharpnose species.

Down the street from the market was a small stand selling more puppy sharks and several scalloped hammerheads. It was really sad to see these sharks on the eve of their CITES protections going into effect, even if these would have not been covered by CITES because they are for domestic consumption (the fishmonger told us the fins were too small to sell).

Later in the day we drove across the island to Grande Riviere to celebrate the birthdays of some very friendly leatherback turtles. Good luck, little guys!

Maracas Beach

I'm in Trinidad for the weekend meeting with Papa Bois Conservation, a local organization working on shark conservation. Yesterday they took us to Maracas Beach, world famous for "bake and shark," a super delicious filet of deep fried shark served in some deep fried fry bread and topped off with a variety of tasty toppings like garlic, cilantro, hot pepper, and pineapple.

Trinidad is unique in the Caribbean in that they have huge amounts of domestic consumption, as well as being the world's #6 export of shark fins to Hong Kong. Yesterday we saw the shark and bake shops and some of the boats. Hoping to see some more of it today and tomorrow.

One thing I'm not doing is exercising and dieting. This island has a lot of good food.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Using Twitter Better

My employer has recently been encouraging staff to use Twitter. I've updated my Twitter profile to reflect this.
Godfather of the Mariana Trench Monument and Saipan's most popular blogger since ever since. @pewenvironment shark sanctuary manager since 2013. Tweets my own.
They also gave us a few tips on how to be more effective on Twitter.

They say that the most popular tweets, in descending order, have a photo, a fact, or a quote.

Photos work best when they are 2x1. The exact dimensions of the photo display in-stream are 440x220. This differs from Facebook, where the photos display as squares. I didn't know that until recently.

They also say that asking for a retweet is more effective when you ask for a "retweet" rather than an "RT."

And those are all the amazing Twitter facts I know.

Of course, the easier way to get more Twitter followers is to be really famous -- or even somewhat famous.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Growing Old Together

Edz turned 30 last week.  That's not something that happens every day.

It has not been a short celebration.  It has been a celebration spread out over several weeks.  I feel that for at least a month now, whenever she wants me to do something, whether it be wash the dishes or purchase something pink, the ask has been strengthened with, "but it's my birthday!"

We struggled with where we wanted to spend the actual day of celebration.  We thought about going to New York, then checked if I could get anywhere cheaply using frequent flier miles, but in the end we decided to spend the weekend in Virginia Beach, which happens to be home to the closest Jollibee.

We left on Saturday morning and seven long hours later we pulled into the Marriott parking lot.  Our plan was to go meet up with former Saipan friends at a local Filipino restaurant, but when we saw the room, we decided it would be better to have a party at the hotel.  I'm not really sure why, but the hotel upgraded us to an oceanview suite.  It was amazing!

The Filipino Wives Club showed up about an hour later, with lumpia, cake, pizza, and babies in tow.  And then the photo shoot commenced.  I posted a few more of my favorites to The Saipan Blog Facebook page.

The party raged until 10 PM.  What can I say?  One of the husbands had to work in the morning and most of us get tired after two beers now.  And the babies were tired.

The next morning we got up really late and then met up with everybody at Jollibee, where we spent $100 on spaghetti, fried chicken, and halo halo.  I had my first SPAM Little Big Bites.  Amazeballs.