Since I last posted, we have finished watching all videos from our first site South Semporna, Malaysia!!! A huge thank you to all my AMAZING volunteers! There is no way these videos would have been completed without them. I am so excited to have this first site completed because it means I can start looking at some data and finding patterns. We saw lots more rays than I was expecting and I’m so relieved my project will have heaps of data. I can’t spoil exactly what we saw, but I can say as far as South Semporna, Malaysia goes more rays than sharks!
We also have seen rays in Nusa Penida, our first site in Indonesia. There are really strong currents in Indonesia, which caused some issues with the BRUVS. A couple went for some fun rides with one doing a somersault before capturing the first Thresher Shark, a bigeye thresher (Alopias superciliosus), on any Global FinPrint BRUVS! You can see the video on my twitter.
I’m just gonna go back and talk about my wonderful volunteers since the last post was all about selecting them. The questionnaires worked brilliantly! I did not receive responses from some people as expected and received some with one word answers. The ones that sent thoughtful responses were selected and have all been good, reliable, and excited to come in each week. I’ve had many of them let me know they are able to come in more often if needed! So of course, we would not be getting through videos as fast as we are without all 27 of these amazing students and I am so grateful to them.
As far as PhD stuff goes, I have still not confirmed my candidature, but now have a date for it of June 14th. Also on the horizon is the American Elasmobranch Society conference in New Orleans in early July. I’m very excited to go and present results from the first site (hopefully more by then). Additionally, there will be a lot of Global FinPrint researchers in attendance and to be able to put faces to names of some people in charge of huge parts of the project will be great. After New Orleans, I’ll be going home to Toronto for a bit to see friends and family!
Anyways, that’s all for now. Next update will be after confirmation and I may have some additional exciting project news to share with you then! Until then, you can stay updated on twitter (@SammSherman27) for a BRUV shot each week #BSOTW. As always, thanks for reading, feel free to share and comment!