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“Susi’s” Whaleshark, A rarity: Whale shark researchers tag female of the species by Erfa Canisthya

“Susi’s” Whaleshark, A rarity: Whale shark researchers tag female of the species

by Erfa Canisthya

The following article originally appeared as a Conservation International Human Nature Blog.  It is re-posted here with permission from Conservation International.

“Susi” the whale shark, pictured above, swimming in the Pacific after being tagged. (© Abraham Sianipar)

Many visitors travel to the Bird’s Head Seascape to swim with the whale sharks of Cenderawasih and Triton Bays.  Almost all of the sharks seen are males.  The recent rare sighting and tagging (the first ever!) of a female whale shark in Triton Bay was a cause for celebration.  The shark was immediately named in honor of Indonesia’s pro-conservation Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti.

HN blog-Editor’s note: In March, a team of scientists from Conservation International Indonesia tagged a female whale shark — the first ever tagged in West Papua. The shark, named “Susi” after Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), Susi Pudjiastuti, will give scientists new insight into how the diving and movement behaviors of female whale sharks differ from those of male whale sharks. In this report, Erfa Canisthya, a project officer at Conservation International Indonesia, describes how the scientists tagged the female whale shark and what information they hope to learn.

The day we found the female whale shark started like any other whale shark taggingexpedition. Our team, comprised of Conservation International scientists and local governmental representatives from Kaimana, West Papua, were diving near Triton Bay….

Read the entire blog here. Human Nature Blog: A rarity:Whale shark researchers tag female of the species.

Erfa Canisthya is the Elasmobranch project officer for Conservation International Indonesia.

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