Playa del Carmen Shark Research Day 1 & 2

January 30, 2012

We arrived in Cancun Saturday afternoon and drove to Playa del Carmen. We ate dinner, went shopping, and then went to sleep.

Sunday morning, we met with Dr. Antoniou of Fins Attached, a shark conservation organization, and Dr. Hoyos, a Mexican shark researcher, and discussed the current bull shark research they are undertaking. The scientists think bull sharks,Carcharhinus leucas, are using this area to feed before going to their pupping grounds to give birth to live young. If they can follow the sharks using satellite tags, they may be able to find these pupping grounds and convince governments to protect them. After the talk, we worked assembling external tags.

We broke for lunch, then returned to the dive shop to prepare for the shark dive. We took a short boat trip to the dive site, and jumped in. Eighty feet down, we waited at the bottom for the sharks to come. Even though the sharks stayed away at first there was a lot to see. We saw Spider crabs,¬†Stenorhynchus seticornus, spotted moray eels,¬†Gymnothorax moringa,¬†After fifteen minutes, we were worried that they weren’t going to come, but eventually three female bull sharks approached and swam around us. They seemed more afraid of us than we were of them! We ascended to the surface and went home, glad to have seen sharks.