Diving

Tagging Whale Sharks

In early February, our guests had the opportunity to observe a team from Conservation International (CI) mount a satellite tag on a whale shark.  The satellite tags record location, depth, and water temperature, and transmits that data every time the dorsal fin of the shark breaks the surface.  This information will allow them to monitor the whale sharks movements over the next two years.  According to CI, their program is the only one of its kind in the world.  They currently have tagged less than 20 whale sharks in Cenderawasih Bay and only 4 in Triton Bay as of Feb 2017.

Very little is known about whale sharks.  CI’s monitoring and ID program here and in Cenderawasih Bay indicate that well over 90% of the 100+ individuals who have been identified so far are young males.  They don’t know where the females or the adults are, and it is becoming apparent that Cenderawasih & Triton Bay must be some kind of nursery for young whale sharks.  Of the sharks that we have seen ourselves here, most are between 3~9m.  Our guests help contribute to the database by providing photos of the area around the shark’s left dorsal fin for identification.

Triton Bay Divers would like to thank Dr. Mark Erdmann, Abraham Sinapar, and the team from CI for the opportunity to observe them in their work.  To learn more about CI’s whale shark monitoring program, please check out this link:

http://blog.conservation.org/tag/whale-sharks/

Triton Bay Divers in Nereus

Red School - HaiderTriton Bay Divers has recently been featured twice in the Swiss Diving magazine Nereus!  For those who read German, please check out the article by Andrea Rothlisberger in the June issue, and by Thomas Haider in the August issue (part 1).  Additional photos from Thomas can be found on their website at this link.  Photo above by Thomas Haider.

Nereus_3-2016_Manta_10-11 (3)

Triton

Pygmy Seahorses of Triton Bay

We had another post last year about Triton Bay being a paradise for pygmy seahorses, but that blog entry really only featured the very common purple Bargibanti species.  Since we’ve been seeing a lot of different species recently its time for an update.  In addition to the Bargibanti, we’ve seen: Pontohi, Severns, Denise, Satomi, and possibly Colemani, but these creatures are so small its difficult to be certain which is which, though we’ve done our best to identify them.  Photo credits to our guests: Connie Thieme, Gordon Tillen, Ian Kerr, Thomas Kuhn, and Thomas Haider.

Triton Bay Divers in SilentWorld

Christmas Rock Panoramic

Above photo: underwater 360 degree panoramic of Christmas Rock, one of Triton Bay’s better known dive sites.

For German readers, below is an article by Connie Thieme in the most recent SilentWorld magazine about her stay with us earlier this year.  Thank you Connie for sharing the article, and to AquaVenture for arranging her visit.

SilentWorld article

Connie missed almost a week of diving due to illness, but still managed to put together some incredible photos (including the picture above), which can be seen in our Guest Galleries or on her website Marine-Snapshots.  Look for the black light (UV) shots of various marine animals and corals, and the photo of the Pontohi pygmy seahorse is as good a picture as you’re going to see of these elusive creatures.

Pygmy Paradise?

Over the past few months we have been diving in Triton Bay, we have been fortunate to see our fair share of pygmy seahorses.  They have been found on almost every site we dive – though not on every dive as they sometimes are just not there, having moved on or for whatever reason.  Most common by far are the Bargibanti, both pink and yellow, but we have also seen Denise, Pontohi (in various colors), and Severns.  On one sea fan in Bo’s Rainbow we counted more than 20 Bargibanti, and it is common for us to find sea fans with families of 5~8 individuals.  Below are a few pics taken over two dives last week.  Enjoy!

Diving the House Reef

Here’s a gallery of the animals we’ve found on our house reef so far.  Still missing pictures of the LSD Mandarin Fish (or Picturesque Dragonette).  Photos of the Flasher Wrasse and Harlequin Shrimp by Lily Cheng.  We do have Flasher Wrasse on the house reef, but her picture was taken at another location.  Only three pictures of the Saron (Marble) Shrimp so far, but we know there are at least 5 different species here.  This blog entry will be updated as we get more pictures!

Update June 2:  Two pictures of the Flasher Wrasses found on our house reef by recent guest Connie Thieme.  One is the standard P. Nursalim and the other is a hybrid (part P. Nursalim, part Blue Flasher).  The other addition is a Saron Shrimp (Marble Shrimp) taken under black light – very cool!  To see more of Connie’s pics from her stay with us, please see the Guest Galleries page.

Update June 21: picture of mating Mandarin fish added!