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Reef Report for Tuesday, April 11, 2000

Playing Tag With the Sharks

What an interesting past few days weve been having! As all the vessels have been kept safe in shallow waters during these gray days, there is little to report. However, my kind friends at Undersea Explorer had some fabulous experiences last week that Id like to share with you today.

There has been lots of action at Osprey Reef with large schools of yellow fin tuna, dogtooth tuna, resident sharks, and schools of hundreds of barracuda. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises At Osprey's northern tip, North Horn, there were 12 white tip sharks, 35 gray reef whalers, three silvertip whalers, and sightings of two scalloped hammerheads.

As part of the Undersea Explorer shark research program, another female white tip was caught by hand underwater and brought to the surface. She was measured, tagged with a sub-dermal microchip, and then implanted with an internal transmitter. This will track her and six previously tagged female white tips for the next three years to provide important information about shark feeding, breeding and home ranges. Needless to say, this is an experience of a lifetime for many of the adventure divers onboard Undersea Explorer.

Other highlights included the capture, tagging, study, and release of 17 nautilus fish from over 200 metre depths -another outstanding diving experience. Along the Ribbon Reefs, cuttlefish can still be seen mating and laying eggs with incredible color displays and behavior. Infant cuttlefish can be seen developing in their eggs.

Looking forward to a brighter week coming!

(C) Pro Dive Cairns The weekly reef report is written by Sue-Anne Chapman of Pro Dive Cairns, who compiles them from the many conversations she has with divers, dive instructors, captains, and others in the Cairns dive community. The report is published weekly in the Cairn Post, the local daily paper and appears here thanks to the courtesy of Pro Dive Cairns.

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