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lemon

Member Since 11 Nov 2008
Offline Last Active Jul 31 2013 03:22 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Cocos Trip Dive Report-2nd edition

15 August 2011 - 11:44 AM

Hi Steve,

thanks for the excellent report. i really enjoyed reading it. i was also just recently in cocos (early july with the underseahunter group). generally, i would agree that this was an off year. in fact, the last two seasons have been down years. while i share your concerns regarding longlining and agree that illegal fishing is likely seriously hurting the park i think another factor is the unusually warm waters the past two years. there has generally been less cleaning action and i believe the hammerheads have been staying deeper. the last two seasons the thermoclines have generally been deeper than usual due to the la nina. fortunately the nina just ended this summer (according to noaa) so things will hopefully improve in the next seasons.

for sure though longlining is a huge problem. while silverado used to provide regular silvertip sightings it seems that the silvertips are all but gone from cocos now. the silkies have definitely taken a big hit from the fisherman as well and according to the DMs you don't really see them that much anymore. these species likely get hit extra hard as they spend a lot of their lives outside of the marine park in the open seas. talking to some of the park rangers it seems that the same fishing ships are repeat offenders and generally whenever they are caught pretty much get off with only a minor slap on the wrists. i imagine they are well protected politically. its a real shame and it makes one fear for cocos future.

i was talking to one of my dive buddies who is also a frequent cocos visitor and he was speculating that the recent decrease in white tips and marble rays may be in part related to the recent increase in tiger sharks hanging out around manuelita. they have to be eating something!

this was my first season diving cocos on my rebreather and i have to say that the difference was awesome. no more "blue diver technique" aka breath-holding to get the hammers to come closer. can't wait to go back as i totally agree with you that out of the many places that i've dived, cocos is hands down my favorite. i just wish underseahunter was still running their combined malpelo-cocos trips. i did that one three seasons ago but unfortunately we didnt see the famous silkies at malpelo.

apologies for the longwinded rambling, just my .02 worth!

best,
alex

In Topic: Cocos aboard the Okeanos Aggressor

15 August 2011 - 10:55 AM

excellent pics and report! i really enjoyed them.

on the topic of cocos here are two incredible videos shot by one of the DMs on the underseahunter:

The Best of Cocos Island 2005-2008


Baitball - A killers day


enjoy!

In Topic: Cocos aboard the Okeanos Aggressor

09 August 2011 - 01:13 PM

great pics! look forward to seeing more. is that school of jacks taken off of dirty rock? looks like the vis improved a bit over the last few weeks. I was in cocos early july and we had some poor vis and unseasonably warm waters. still a great trip but definitely an off year for us. also, i've never seen so many octopus at cocos. they were everywhere!

In Topic: Oceanic White Tip Bahamas May 2011 with JASA

08 June 2011 - 04:38 PM

Great content. Obviously the shark action was great but some of those sunset shots just make me want to pour a sundowner.


Stew


yeah, we really scored weather-wise. couldnt have asked for better conditions. and those sharks just stayed all-day every-day. amazing creatures.

In Topic: Oceanic White Tip Bahamas May 2011 with JASA

06 June 2011 - 09:52 AM

glad you enjoyed it. all credit for images and video goes to jim abernethy who shot and edited this as our trip video. jim runs a great trip and we were lucky to have calm glassy conditions with up to 14+ oceanics at a time. beautiful sharks that will hang out all day. great to see a couple of pregnant females too. cheers, lemon