First day on the water today…
I thought I’d try something a bit different during this fieldwork stint. Rather than only posting occasional ‘good’ photos, in my mind at least, I’ll try to provide a daily update here on the “Field Notes” section of the site – and on our Patreon page. Hopefully you’ll find it interesting – you’re welcome to ask questions about the work we’re doing, of course!
Anyway, to begin: my partner Mads, Dr Chris Rohner and I are on Mafia Island in Tanzania. Chris and I have been coming here since 2012, when we kicked off a whale shark research project here. Not many people have heard of Mafia, but I love it! Super chilled, great diving, and – as we’ve found – highly resident whale sharks.
We only saw one shark today, but it was a new one for the global database: TZ-188. Every whale shark has a unique spot pattern on the flanks, which we can ID using the search algorithm on www.whaleshark.org. He was about 5.5 m long, a juvenile male, cruising fast over a shallow sandbank.
The whale shark “season” (when they start gorging themselves on shrimp at the surface) typically kicks off with the beginning of the kazkasi winds, a change to seasonal north-easterlies. That should happen any day now… 🤞🤞🤞