Samata recently teamed up with local NGO Thrive Conservation, an organization dedicated to protecting the environment and its creatures on their shark tagging project in Alor, one of Indonesia’s lesser-known islands that boasts a magnificent underworld.
Leading the project was coral reef ecologist and senior advisor for Conservation International Indonesia’s marine program Dr. Mark Erdmann and fisheries data specialist at UNDP Rafid Shidqi. The conservation efforts focused on surveying Thresher shark behaviour and educating local fishermen about the importance of protecting these incredible animals.
Samata’s cruise director Michael Click took part in the project and has shared his recount of the experience:
In order to put satellite tags on some of Alor’s Thresher sharks, the team employed the wisdom of local fishermen to help with the shark tagging project. It was amazing to witness the willingness of these men to help – usually, they are hunting the sharks – but now have greater awareness of the susceptibility these incredible animals have to overfishing. Thresher sharks are listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.
It was discovered that a group of about 5 or 6 fishermen typically catch up to 4 sharks per day. They work alone in small boats with simple tools; using rocks and palm fronds to drop several hundred meters of line into the deepest parts of the straight.
Their boats rocked in the waves as the wind and current constantly tested their balance
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