Monday, March 31, 2008

Diver caught in a fishing net

Putting together the News links for this blog reminded me of an incident a year ago today (i.e. 31st March 2007). At the end of an afternoon dive on Agarille reef south of Sapi Island, our group came across a long fishing net caught along its bottom on coral at around 10 metres but suspended by floats along its length in mid-water. (Almost no algae had gathered on the mesh so I assume it was quite fresh.) Two of us had knives and we set to cutting it (and various shells and echinoderms) free whilst the rest of the group rolled it up. At one point I looked down to where my buddy was rolling the net and saw a loop of it had come down above and behind him ensnaring his regulator's first stage and his tank valve. I told him to stay perfectly still and gradually cut him loose. It might not have ended happily under different circumstances and it is disappointing that he was exposed to a fishing net in a marine park at all.

This photo of a Tunicate (a Sea Squirt, probably in the family Diazonidae) was taken in the morning of the same day, at Hanging gardens off Gaya Island.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Welcome to TARP Watch

Welcome to my new blog about TARP. I have my down days thinking about the pressures the creatures in it face, but there are bright days too. I took this hard coral photo (family Fungiidae) mid-afternoon back on 27th October 2007, on the southeast slope of Gaya Island. There's some gorgeous stuff out there!