RESCUE ATTEMPT OF CAPE FUR SEAL

February 28, 2011 by dyertrust

Wilfred Chivell of the Trust attended to a sick Cape Fur Seal. A call was received from Nico Opperman to let us know of the seals plight. On the recommendation of Mike Meyer of Oceans & Coasts, the seal was attended by a local veterinarian Dr Liesel Trollope. Special medication was delivered by courier to numb the seal. Once this was done and we were able to closely examine the seal, it was established that it had abscesses in both eyes. The abscesses had done such damage that caused blindness, making it impossible for the seal to survive in the wild. The approximately seven-year male seal was then unfortunately euthanized.

Sadly, not every rescue attempt is successful but the learning experience created for the team may prove invaluable for a future rescue.Wilfred Chivellthanks the public for their prompt reporting of animal injuries.

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SHARK & RAY RESEARCH MEETING

February 27, 2011 by dyertrust

Alison Towner and I attended the Southern African Shark and Ray Meeting hosted by the KZN Sharks Board in mid February. The first meeting of its kind, it offered the opportunity for scientists from across the country and Mozambique the chance to present their research and share ideas.

The conference also provided networking opportunities second only to the white sharks symposium in Hawaii last year whichAlisonandHennieattended. We were able to not only put the Dyer Island Conservation Trust on the map as a major player in the research and future of the South African white shark with quality presentations on our own research but also discuss potential future collaborations with the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) and a national database of fin IDs withSave Our Seas,Oceans Research,Bay World,Oceans and Coastsand the KZN Sharks Board. We hope this collaboration will answer the question of how many white sharks we have in South Africa?

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ELEPHANT SEAL SIGHTING

February 26, 2011 by dyertrust

This February we have had yet another rare visitor here a juvenile femaleelephant seal. The condition of the animal was good with a slight injury visible around its neck, possible caused by fishing line. Pictures were taken forphotogrammetry.

Marine biologist,Katja Vinding Petersen(2 Febuary) I went back at 20.15 and it was still there. At first it looked dead but then I was relieved to see it start moving. The tide was very low at that time and it would had gone back in this morning around 2-3 oclock. The next morning around 7.30 the seal was no longer on the beach.

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RARE CRABEATER SEAL FOUND

February 25, 2011 by dyertrust

The Trust received a call from Jason Stonehewer about the sighting of an unusual seal on Pearly Beach. It turned out to be a rare visitor to these shores, aCrabeater seal (Lobodon carcinophagus). These seals are very common in Antarctica. They have specialized teeth to filtrate the water and contrary to their name, feed on krill in the water column. This is the same crab eater seal which was seen at Lamberts Bay over the past weekend.

Found alive but died on the beach, it was a male, 185cm long. Photos and measurements will be sent to Oceans and Coasts and the Mammal Research Institute (MRI) for their records.

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SHARK CONSERVATION SOCIETY VISIT

February 24, 2011 by dyertrust

On the 7th of January our eco-tourism partner,Marine Dynamicshad the pleasure of hostingRichard Pierceontheir new cage diving vessel Slashfin, together with his grandson Oliver.

Richard is the founder and Chairman of theShark Conservation Society SCS- a UKbased non-profit shark research organisation. He is also the author ofSharks of the British Seasand Jaws Britain, and has been promoting elasmobranch conservation in and around the UK for literally decades. Richard was keenly interested in the work of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, most especially theshark researchbeing done in the Bay.

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Shark sightings

February 21, 2011 by dyertrust

February 2011 has been an excellent month. We have encountered some spectacular white shark sightings and a drastic improvement on shark numbers from December/January. Interestingly, white shark presence has only been documented atDyer Islandand not in the normal shallow water reef system of Joubertsdam. The only female shark we saw in the shallows this month was a 2.4m individual (Nina) who we subsequently tagged as part of theDICT research project. After the transmitter was attached to the shark, we tracked her movements continuously for 8 hours where she proceeded to move directionally away from the shallows towards Dyer Island. She has remained within the vicinity of the island until this date!

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