Return from Mokarran I mission

mokarran - Jan. 31, 2020
The austral summer is favourable to encounter the Great Hammerhead Shark in the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. The Mokarran Protection Society has been conducting an observation campaign since December 2019, which will end in March 2020.
You can also read this news in: français - Retour de mission Mokarran 1

The Mokarran I mission is supported by the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Blancpain, which historically and through the Blancpain Ocean Commitment supports initiatives working to protect the oceans and marine biodiversity. Rangiroa's local partners have also supported this mission: Rangiroa Plongée, CCR Rangiroa, Cook & Dive and finally the Raira Lagoon.

A study and living station, conducive to collaborative work, hosted a team of volunteers made up of biologists, computer scientists and divers for three months. On a daily basis, the teams dived into the Tiputa channel, which is renowned for its currents and the richness of its ecosystem. The divers moved simultaneously in different areas, in open circuit but also in rebreather, from the surface to 70 m depth. Respectful approach methods were validated in order to downplay the effects of the divers in the top predator's environment.

The main work focused on photo-identification associated with laser measurements and the provision of two databases. Photographs were analysed after each dive, and a heavy processing and structured archiving work completed the days. Computer tools were specially developed by the association. Finally, the team worked on setting up a participative network within the dive centers and organized informative presentations.

This first inventory aims to identify the factors that favour the presence of the Great Hammerhead in the Tiputa Pass, to characterise its population: male/female ratio, size and behaviour and finally to try to determine the sedentary of the various individuals counted.

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