Slow week for sharks, but we are getting plenty of exercise in elasmobranch anatomy.
The fact that our big buddies, the local white sharks, are moving away from Seal Island and are less frequent on chum trips is most definitely a bummer. Not to mention the weather has turned a little more unpredictable and violent which keeps us from even getting on the water some days. This aside, our time in Mossel Bay has still been exciting.
Recently Britain’s Channel 4 visited Mossel Bay to continue their work on their television series “Inside Nature’s Giants”. Their subject: the great white shark. They acquired a 4.3 meter white shark from a beach protection net in kwaZulu Natal on the east coast of South Africa for the dissection for the film crew and for the PhD project of OCEANS scientist Enrico Gennari.
They set up near the aquarium and raised the shark up on the dissection table. Channel 4 provided everyone in the show bright orange jumpsuits and little white boots. It was fascinating to see shark anatomy on this huge scale. I think the locals of Mossel Bay thought so too. The dissection turned into a town gathering with masses of locals crowded around behind the caution tape and perched up on the railings of Big Blu trying to get a good view. I didn’t blame them it was quite a spectacle.
Enrico’s elasmobranch dissections for school kids also continue to be a hit. Today he switched it up and dissected a ray instead of the standard soupfin shark.
We also were able to rescue and rerelease a green sea turtle and a penguin. The poor little turtle was not just tossed around and battered in the epic storm we had recently, but he also had a quarter of his shell removed by a shark bite. It was in sad shape. But we made sure that it was in decent shape and was healthy enough to survive on his own before releasing it into the waters of Mossel Bay.