DICT Environmental Programe June Rundown

June 30, 2017 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

June was an eventful month for the DEEP group. On the 8th we celebrated World Oceans Day and Youth day on the 16th of June.

June 08 – World Oceans Day

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International Great White Shark Research Team Work With Dyer Island Conservation Trust

June 15, 2017 Brenda du Toit

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust and Marine Dynamics team were recently joined by past Master’s students, Oliver and Michelle Jewell, to continue Oliver’s studies on great white sharks.

Oliver is a PhD candidate affiliated with Murdoch University. Oliver is looking at the foraging and swimming patterns of great white sharks by observing body movements and tail beats using camera loggers attached with a special clamping system. The team included Oliver’s supervisors Dr Adrian Gleiss (Murdoch University) and Dr Taylor Chappell (UC Davis); and a research and film crew from Monterey Bay Aquarium – Dr Salvador Jorgenson, Presley Adamson and Paul Kanive. Further support was given by past employee of the Trust, David ‘Ed’ Edwards and his partner Anna Phillips. Ed assisted with the white shark population study the Trust released in 2013.

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Great White Shark vs Orca May 2017

June 08, 2017 Brenda du Toit

May 2017 was an interesting yet trying time for the team of Marine Dynamics and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust who were called out to retrieve three deceased white sharks in a space of a few days – a female of 4,9m and two males at 3,6 and 4,5m. All three sharks have been identified from our extensive database.

Our shark biologists, Alison Towner and Kelly Baker assisted by our team and experts in their field including Dr Malcolm Smale, and with the permission of the Department of Environmental Affairs did the dissections on site in Gansbaai. All three sharks had consistent bite wounds and were found to be missing their livers. This indicates what is known of orca predation on sharks as they attack and stun the shark into tonic immobility and the buoyant liver rises to the surface through the injury. The squalene rich liver is the only part that the orca’s appear interested in although the one male shark was also missing a heart. This is the first time ever that a white shark has been dissected after an orca predation and this is the first official observation in South Africa stunning researchers and shark lovers.

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SouSA - Whale and Dolphin Research

June 05, 2017 Meredith Thornton

As the winter chills set upon us in the Southern Hemisphere we celebrate two important days this week - today is World Environment Day, which is all about getting outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and to be fully conscious of its importance; Thursday is World Oceans Day which is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future for us all.  This year’s theme is Our Oceans, Our Future and the conservation action focus is Encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future.

Grab your friends and colleagues, kick off your shoes and hit the coastline this week, preferably with a garbage bag in hand to do your bit for the planet today!  Let us know what you decided to do, and how it went. Remember Your Choice makes a Difference #WithNature #worldoceansday

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