All posts filed under: Ocean Lover

Welcome To Sharkphoria

What is Sharkphoria? Sharkphoria is a science based Patreon channel dedicated to creating shark awareness and to share marine biology content through videos. The person behind Sharkphoria and creator of the videos is a marine biologist and shark researcher, Johanna Kohler, based in the Cayman Islands. As part of the non-profit collaboration, Shark Conservation Cayman, Johanna studies the local shark population which is also part of her PhD. Her shark research interests include shark behaviour and ecology, shark reproduction and human-shark conflict mitigation. By becoming a Sharkphoria Patron, anyone can now step into Johanna’s world and join her on the journey to a PhD in shark research as she is not only sharing fun, science based shark video tutorials, but also exclusive insights and first hand experiences. Sharks are one of the most misunderstood creatures.  Many people fear sharks as a result of blockbuster movies and sensationalizing media.  Media, which continues to give sharks a negative reputation, doesn’t help.  According to Johanna, sharks are not something to be feared, but rather respected. What is truly …

Sharkwater Extinction Review

We are honoured to have a guest post written by Julia Barnes. I was a little nervous to watch Sharkwater Extinction. I knew it would make me emotional. Rob Stewart has been my hero since I was 12. Losing him was devastating and I didn’t want to relive his death. But I was also excited to see his new film, so I attended the premier at TIFF. Hearing his voice and seeing him on the screen, I found myself smiling all the way through. Sharkwater Extinction is not a sad film. It is overwhelmingly inspiring, filled with Rob’s passion and energy. It’s a film that will make you realize you can change the world. Rob’s voice is a constant throughout the movie. His narration guides you through the story as he and his team investigate the trade in endangered shark species, uncovering corruption, deception, and mafia rings. There are plenty of dangerous, heart-pounding moments. At one point Rob goes into a ship’s freezer, alone, with a camera, to film piles of dead sharks. It would …

Shark Conservation Cayman in a Nutshell

Who are we? Shark Conservation Cayman is a collaboration between the Department of Environment and Marine Conservation International, supported by the White Tip Conservation Fund from the Cayman Islands Brewery.  Together with a network of volunteers, the team is working towards a better understanding of our local shark populations. Shark Conservation Cayman and fellow collaborators work in Cayman to study and monitor our local sharks and improve conservation management in the Cayman Islands. So how do we do that? In order to protect sharks we need to study and understand their behaviour and life characteristics and use what we’ve learnt to raise awareness in local communities around the importance of sharks to healthy reefs and our Cayman marine environment. Since sharks are highly mobile animals with the whole ocean to roam in, studying them is no easy feat. In Cayman we use multiple, complementary methods one of which is “Acoustic Telemetry”. This means we tag a shark with an acoustic tag. Then, by utilizing a network of receivers located around the three Islands, we pick up …

Meet Our Local Sharks & The People Protecting Them

The Caribbean is famous for being a paradise, rich in colour, biodiverse coral reefs and an abundance of marine life including sharks.  A healthy population of sharks is an indicator of a healthy reef ecosystem and is valuable not only for our marine environment but also for the tourism industry and our economy.  The Cayman Islands is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world and people travel from all over to experience our world renowned underwater world but also for the opportunity to see a shark(s) on their dive.  A survey in 2011 showed that sharks are worth more alive than dead in Cayman. The economic value of an alive shark was estimated to be about US$54 million per year.  So not only do sharks help keep the balance in the marine environment but also add to our islands economy.  The survey also showed that even if tourists don’t want to see sharks while swimming, they do want to know that there is a healthy shark population in Cayman as it is …

Tipping Point

My brief take on the global impact of the human-shark relationship. written by Marique Cloete “Your life is inextricably linked to that of a shark whether you choose to accept it as your truth or not.” I recently got a puppy. You may ask what this has to do with Sharks. Not much unless you count the fact that he will soon be donning a shark fin life-vest when we patrol the ocean. A recent incident with puppy however got me onto the subject of my article. The two of us were hunting for coconuts in my garden and at one point I hooked a coconut and pulled it down. I shouted “move!” but Puppy being a puppy and not yet fluent in the English language did not artfully step aside as I expected and nearly got in the way of a crashing coconut. “More humans are killed each year by falling coconuts than by Sharks.” Sound familiar? This little urban legend gained momentum after a publication by a shark expert in 2002 cited “human …

Weird and Wonderful Sharks

Sharks have been roaming the oceans for over 400 million years and there are about 500 different species that we know of.  They are a majestic and fascinating creature.  As apex predators, sharks play a key role in maintaining the health and the balance of the ocean.  Sharks control populations of various marine species that fall below them on the food web, keeping populations at a healthy size and removing weak and sick individuals. All of which supports a healthy marine ecosystem and biodiversity.  Focusses research continues to allow us to learn more about the characteristics and behaviour of various shark species to give us a better understanding of their important role in the marine environment. Sharks are present in all oceans, and a few species including the Bull shark are able to survive in fresh water. Unlike boney fish, the skeleton of sharks is made up from cartilage.  Sharks control their buoyancy by constant swimming. The perfectly shaped fins and tail provide lift, while the oily liver also helps with buoyancy. Most sharks, like …