how we spend our afternoons

Are you curious to know how we spend our afternoons between the dives? We analyze the pictures and catalogue the animals we?ve seen during the days? dive, so as to create a photo-ID archive.
The photoID technique has widely been used in cetaceans population studies. The advantage of this method is that it is a non-invasive technique, and it is ideal to use with shy animals as these sharks. As opposed to colleagues who study cetaceans, we have the advantage of being able to take pitures not only of the dorsal fin, but of the whole animal at a very close range ? thanks to the many hours spent underwater with them, which have taught us the way to get close without disturbing them too much.
Recognizing each individual allows us:
– get information of the size of the population
– keep track of who is in the bay every day
– keep track of who comes back to the bay, year after year
– see if these animals move to other areas (if we can collect other sandbar sharks photos elsewhere)
– if we take pictures of the animals from a known distance, we can compare the size of the animal and get a pretty accurate estimate of the size of the individual shark.

During this year?s expedition we have already photo-ID 26 sharks bearing markings, spots and scars on their bodies. But the signs we are eager to see on the body of our lady sharks are the famous ?love bites?. We?ll let you know when we see them!

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