Citizen Science Shark Expedition with Dr. James Ketchum

November 3-12, 2019
Dr. James Ketchum
Socorro Islands
Shark Research 
$3500 per person, quad occupancy

Below is the general itinerary of our Citizen Science Shark Expeditions. Conditions may require changes to the itinerary. This is over and above our regular Socorro itinerary. Divers can participate as much or as little as they like.

SHARK & MANTA RESEARCH AND CONSERVATION IN THE REVILLAGIGEDO ARCHIPELAGO

Learn to study and conserve sharks and Mantas in our scientific expeditions to the most remote and pristine islands of Mexico

Shark and Manta Movement and Count

OVERVIEW & SIGNIFICANCE

Join us as a member of our scientific expeditions to the Revillagigedo Archipelago. You will scuba dive and help study shark and Manta movements in one of their last refuges in the Pacific Ocean. Such information is not completely known, however, it is critical to effectively manage and conserve the mega-fauna of this spectacular chain of islands.

HIGHLIGHTS

Learn to tag sharks and Mantas; learn to take skin samples from sharks and Mantas; assist scientists in the censusing and behavioral studies of sharks and Mantas; learn how to photo-ID sharks and Mantas; learn about shark biology and ecology; scuba dive in deep-blue water surrounded by abundant mega-fauna.

SCIENTIFIC QUESTIONS

How do they move?
Where do they go?
When do they move?
How many and what species are there?

GOALS

1. Shark and Manta tagging and telemetry to understand their movements and migratory patterns.
2. Shark and Manta ID and underwater censusing to determine their abundance and diversity.
3. Shark and Manta skin tissue sampling to examine their large-scale connectivity using genetics.
4. Shark video footage with BRUVS to determine their abundance and diversity, and to examine their behavior

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Arrive San Benedicto. Begin training on shark and Manta tagging and telemetry techniques as well as censusing. Assist researchers in deploying baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) for shark ID and behavior study. Capture and tag Silvertip shark pups. Capture data on spreadsheets. Attend researcher presentation.

Dives:
1. Training dive to ID and observe sharks at ‘Canyon’.
2. Tagging of sharks underwater and deploy BRUVS.

Capture of sharks:
- Capture silvertip shark pups with hook and line off the stern of the boat at dusk.

Presentations:
- Shark basic biology and ID of shark species at Revillagigedo
- Submersible expedition to the depths of Revillagigedo

DAY 2

Continue shark and Manta tagging and censusing at San Benedicto. Assist researchers in deploying baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) for shark ID and behavior study. Capture and tag adult Silky sharks. Capture data on spreadsheets. Attend researcher presentation.

Dives:
1. Deploy BRUVS and perform training dive to ID, measure and observe giant Mantas at ‘El Boiler’.
2. Perform first censusing of Mantas at ‘El Boiler’.
3. Recover BRUVS and continue censusing and observing Mantas.

Capture of sharks:
- Capture adult silky sharks with hook and line off the stern of the boat before dawn and after dusk.

Presentation:
- Manta behavior and ecology

DAY 3

Training on shark and Manta photo-identification. Continue shark and Manta tagging censusing at Roca Partida. Photo-ID of Whitetip reef sharks. Assist researchers in deploying baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) for shark ID and behavior study. Capture data on spreadsheets. Attend researcher presentation.

Dives:
1. Deploy BRUVS, census, measure and observe sharks at Roca Partida. Photo-ID Whitetip reef sharks
2. Continue censusing and observing sharks. Continue with the photo-ID of Whitetip reef sharks
3. Recover BRUVS and continue censusing and observing sharks. Continue with the photo-ID of Whitetip reef sharks

Capture of sharks:
- Capture sharks with hook and line off the stern of the boat early in the morning and late in the afternoon at canyon.

Presentation:
- Shark behavior and ecology

DAY 4

Continue shark and Manta tagging and censusing, and Photo-ID of whitetip reef sharks at Roca Partida. Collect skin tissue samples from Silky sharks. Assist researchers in deploying baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) for shark ID and behavior study. Capture data on spreadsheets. Attend researcher presentation.

Dives:
1. Deploy BRUVS, census, measure and observe sharks at Roca Partida.
2. Continue censusing and observing sharks.
3. Recover BRUVS and continue censusing and observing sharks.

Tissue sampling:
- Attract large Silky sharks with chum and bait to the stern of the boat in the evening to collect skin tissue samples using a biopsy sampler.

Presentation:
- Shark and Manta conservation

DAY 5

Continue shark and Manta tagging and censusing at Socorro. Capture and tag Galapagos sharks. Assist researchers in deploying baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) for shark ID and behavior study. Capture data on spreadsheets. Attend participants’ presentations.

Dives:
1. Deploy BRUVS, census, and measure and observe sharks at ‘Cabo Pearce’.
2. Recover BRUVS and continue censusing and observing sharks at ‘Cabo Pearce’.
3. Continue censusing and observing sharks at ‘Punta Tosca’.

Capture of sharks:
- Capture Galapagos sharks with hook and line off the stern of the boat in the evening.

Participant presentations:
- Abundance of sharks and Mantas, main results (team of 4 people)
- Movements of sharks and Mantas, main results (team of 4 people)
- Diversity of sharks, main results (team of 4 people)
- Conservation issues, problems and solutions (team of 4 people)

DAY 6

Continue shark and Manta tagging and censusing at San Benedicto. Photo-ID of Whitetip reef sharks. Assist researchers in deploying baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) for shark ID and behavior study. Capture data on spreadsheets. Farewell dinner.

Dives:
1. Deploy BRUVS, census, and measure and observe sharks at ‘Canyon’.
2. Continue censusing and observing sharks.
3. Recover BRUVS and continue censusing and observing sharks.

Capture of sharks:
- Capture sharks with hook and line off the stern of the boat early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

DAY 7

Return to San Jose del Cabo

SCIENTIFIC TEAM

Dr. James Ketchum, co-lead
Dr. Mauricio Hoyos, co-lead
Dr. Robert Rubin, associate researcher
Dr. Yannis Papastamatiou, associate researcher
Dr. Darcy Bradley, associate researcher
Dr. Alex Hearn, associate researcher
M.Sc. Frida Lara, student researcher
M.Sc. Alejandro Aldana, student researcher
M.Sc. Tania Pelamatti, student researcher

 

ABOUT PELAGIOS KAKUNJA

Pelagios means "open sea" in Greek and Kakunja means "protect" in the guaycura language. It is a non-profit organization, created in 2010 by Mexican researchers and scientists. It focuses on the research of shark species and other open water organisms, in order to generate information for regional management and the implementation of conservation strategies.

Overview

We believe that through the protection and conservation of underwater islands and mountains in the open sea it is possible to promote the return of top predators and the recovery of pelagic fish assemblages. Imagine a future with a sustainable sea where conservation based on science is a fundamental part.

Mission

Know, educate and conserve for a sustainable sea.

CLICK HERE for photos in our Gallery