Monday, February 09, 2015

Nature Too Good To Be True

I'm in the Bahamas for a week. My employer is hosting an event involving government officials in Bimini, home of the world famous Sharklab. We're getting ready to launch a new Shark Stanley campaign, too, so I brought him along for the ride.

I travel often. This month I will conduct field work in The Bahamas, Bonaire, and Curacao, and then I'm helping to plan a meeting of global shark conservationists in Washington, DC. To keep my marriage intact, Edz gets to come on some trips. She's here with me in Bimini. She's small and doesn't eat much and I enjoy having her around, so it's a win-win for everyone.

The Bahamas became a shark sanctuary a few years back. All sharks are protected in their waters. The front desk of our hotel had a sign explaining this to visiting mariners and fishermen. I hope to work with a few organizations here and in Nassau to expand this kind of understanding of the rules surrounding sharks.

The Bahamas really have something special. Just walking on the dock fronting our hotel we saw an eagle ray and several bull sharks. I've never seen something like that in all my years in Saipan or Florida. Later that night we sat on a friend's dock and watched lemon sharks and nurse sharks.

Seeing marine macrofauna from shore is not something you can see in many places. On the north shore of Oahu I've seen turtles lying in the sand. I'm seen anglers in New Smyrna pull in sharks from shore. Manatees congregate at Homosassa Springs in the winter. Bimini blows all those places out of the water. I saw four species of elasmobranchii yesterday, and I still haven't gotten my feet wet.

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