Celebrating World Oceans Day Each and Every Day with Big Blue Collective
We protect what we love.
At Big Blue Collective, we love, live, and breathe for the ocean, not only this week as we celebrate World Oceans Day 2021, but every day. We are committed to doing everything in our power to protect the ocean and her marine life, especially sharks. We want you to join us.
In the last year, we haveve partnered with shark conservation NGO, Beneath the Waves, and joined their newly launched Caribbean Shark Coalition. This powerful collective of scientists, local communities, local governments and academics are dedicated to the conservation sharks. The importance of these predators to our oceans can not be over stated. Simply put healthy oceans and reefs need healthy populations of sharks. They are much like an immune system, regulating fish species while preying on the old and sick.
Last week, we welcomed back scientists from the Beneath the Waves team for a fourth edition of collaboration and partnership aboard our boats. The four-day research expedition focused on setting up dozens of BRUVS (Baited Underwater Video Systems). We also collected water samples to conduct environmental DNA analyses and tagged sharks to track possible migration routes. From sun-up to sundown, our crews worked in tandem to carry out this critical research.
With close to 25 years’ experience in Turks and Caicos waters, we know where to find sharks. Indeed, we look for sharks on every snorkel, dive and paddle adventure. We love seeing them swim around our prized coral reefs and mangroves. When we do not see them, it is often disappointing and concerning. So, we were excited to share our local expertise and help the Beneath the Waves team navigate to some healthy shark havens in and around Middle, North and West Caicos.
We tagged two reef sharks and an 8-foot lemon shark through the expedition! The Lemon Shark graciously let the team take some tissue samples. We then tagged her before she swam away freely just a few minutes later. All the data collected will be analyzed and will be used to inform shark protecting policies. The more we know about our local sharks (what they eat, where they breed, where they travel, what levels of stress they’re under etc), the stronger basis we will have to seek their protection.
But you do not have to be a scientist to help protect these incredible creatures. We also invited TCI’S DECR and a group of local high school students on deck for one of the research days. They wasted no time in jumping in to help chop bait, set BRUVS and drop drum lines used to catch sharks for tagging. Several of them now want to be marine biologists. Which is fantastic.
This is what we are about. Inspiring the young and the old to become citizen scientists and conservationists of all ages and backgrounds. We look forward to you joining us to jump in, get wet and learn how you, too, can protect what you love.