Monday, 7 March 2016

Mahe- The Green Islands Foundation

A female Giant Hammerhead caught on camera.
I have enjoyed my time in the Seychelles so much that I cancelled my flight home and made myself available for more voluntary work.  I soon find myself working in the GIF office in Victoria.  A tasteful building surrounded by friendly staff from Denis Island. 

BRUV analysis
During my time on North Island I had the good fortune to meet Arjan and Jennifer from the GIF.  Arjan with the help of Jennifer run the NGO which works closely with the private islands of North and Denis Island.

GIF were conducting a  survey around the waters of both islands using a baited remote underwater video system (BRUVS).  This involves collecting data from approx 80 hours worth of video footage to monitor the different species of shark in the area.

A baby Hawksbill checking out the camera.
GIF were looking for a `victim` to sit through the hours of  recording so for the next 2 and half weeks I look square eyed at a laptop watching movies, but not the new bond movie but something far more interesting and educational – sharks!!!!  I learn how to identify a variety of species such as Nurse Shark, Whitetip Reef Shark, Grey Reef Shark, Lemon Shark, Giant Guitar Shark and I even spot a Giant Hammerhead seen in the waters around North Island.

The office is well placed for Victoria and on a lunch time I walk around the capital for lunch with easy access for a quick takeaway at a reasonable price.  I have given up my hire car and taken to the buses for the full experience.  At 5 rupees (25p) a ride its quite a bargain, a fixed price to anywhere !
Me flying the twin otter from Mahe – only kidding – Air Seychelles

I've been staying in the Beau Vallon area which is on the bus route and handy for the beach and places to eat on a night. 

Its been good to meet the team in the office but my work on the BRUVS is over and time to leave.  An opportunity has come up to visit Denis Island to assist with bird surveys and I do not hesitate, get me on the plane !!

Jeremy from England

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