What a day! Today we finished up and presented our research, released the specimens we had collected yesterday and are getting ready to pack up and move on. Tomorrow morning we finish packing and head to Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island. We'll study high energy shore environments and then spend some time spotting Humpback whales, dolphins and sea turtles. I'm especially excited for the whales! The population has been increasing, so it's a bit more likely that we'll find them.
- A note on this: Because the population has recuperated from it's slaughtering (which ended officially in 1966) the Japanese government has requested an allowance of 50 humpback whales for commercial exploitation (sorry, use.) Now, the population has increased from about 150 in 1970 to an estimated 10,000. While this may seem like a huge recovery, it's only 1/3 of what the population should be. A healthy population size would be about 30,000 individuals. So, this request by the Japanese government is particularly barbaric.
- There's a similar situation with sharks (of all species, really, but especially the bamboo and wobbegong sharks.) The fin trade is just wiping out the population, their practices are wasteful and, again, barbaric and the results of removing the sharks from an ecosystem are catastrophic. Essentially the entire system collapses, because without sharks there's more food for stingrays etc, the ray population becomes runaway and the entire web collapses.
Anyway. Tomorrow we're hoping to spot some humpback whales.
As I'll not have Internet access for a few days, the schedule will be:
- 29 (tomorrow) Pack up, field trip, transfer to mainland (Brisbane) and overnight at TinBilly
- 30- Depart Brisbane for Tin Can Bay, Shark dive and seal swim at underwater world
- 31- Depart Tin Can Bay for Gladstone (and rainbow beach!)
- 1- Depart Gladstone for Heron Island (where I SHOULD have Internet access, and the snorkeling is wonderful!)
Time for Dinner and then off to celebrate at the Little Ships Club!