Hi Team! Back again with the update. This is for April and May, and up to our current day in June (6/12/19).
Next update: Hopefully the end of June.
We are back from the IWSC5 Conference and it was great. We met a lot of other whale shark researchers from around the world, traded stories, knowledge, and put faces to the names. The international community was amazed with the amount of sharks we have seen and how much HURC has done so quickly. We couldn't have done it without you all, so thank you so much!
There have been a lot of sharks around Hawaii, so the team has a lot of submissions to process after our trip. With all of us working our "normal 40hr+/week" jobs and sightings increasing, we have changed the processing time on our submission page from 72 hours to As Soon As Possible. If you know someone that is submitting, just let them know we will get back to them as soon as we can.
As many of you saw on social media, we had MMF researcher Alex Watts visit Hawaii, collaborating on her Ph.D. project on whale shark genetics globally. After a two week field project the team was able to collect 1 sample. First time for Hawaii! Cheehooo! We are continuing this project in hopes of getting a lot more samples to better understand where our sharks fit in globally on the genetic level.
We are always on the grant train and still trying to get the satellite tagging moving along. We have had some interest from local schools and have support letters from two (1 on big island, 1 on Maui) We need the interest of 1 more school for a couple grants, if you know anyone interested in participating with their students let us know. All we need is a letter of support from them.
We are almost at 200 individuals!! Most likely by our next update (end of June) we will see that number! Keep letting everyone know about HURC!
In an effort to be more "green" we are going to be shifting from mailing our Whale Shark Naming Certificates to emailed certificates. This will happen after we finish off our envelope stock (in about 50 animals or so).
The website keeps getting little revamps here and there, check it out. If anyone wants to update their bio or bio photos at any point just let me (Maria) know.
We are still focusing on 1 big fundraiser for the end of year. If you have ideas, let me (Maria) know.
As of a few days ago, Ningaloo Aviation caught an interesting string of photos that are believed to be an attempt at mating behavior. The top shark is to small to be mature, however, an awesome catch nonetheless. If you want to see the entire suite of photos, check out our facebook/instagram.
July 9th, 2019 - 26th Annual Hawai'i Conservation Conference - Hawai'i Convention Center