Hi guys, 

As many of you know, I along with some of our LAMAVE team and a couple of international scientists are heading to Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site, to assess the shark & ray biodiversity of the Park.  

One of our main goals is to understand the movement and residency patterns of some of the shark species that visit the park. We will be working closely with the Park’s management office (Tubbataha Management Office) with the aim of doing the following:

- Satellite tagging whale sharks & tiger sharks

- Deploying Remote Underwater Videocameras (RUVs)

- Conducting Aerial Surveys using Quadcopters

- Genetic studies

We’ve had a researcher based at the Tubbataha Ranger’s station since early March, already collecting RUV footage from around the atolls. He has confirmed the presence of: Tiger sharks, Scalloped hammerheads, White, blacktip reef sharks, Grey reef sharks, Mobula sp. rays, Whale sharks, Leopard & bamboo sharks

We have one space available for an adventurer with a passion for our oceans. We’ll be embarking on a research liveaboard vessel from the Philippines on the 14th of May, and will be at sea for 10 nights.  The prices of the expedition is $3,000 (USD). All proceeds go to the full realisation of the expedition.

If this sounds like you, or you know somebody that might be interested in this unique opportunity, please contact us at

Thanks as always, 




Some relaxing whale shark footage from photographer/videographer Steve De Neef, mainly filmed from his visit last week to our LAMAVE base here in Southern Leyte, Philippines. All footage shot with a Canon 5D markIII, 16-35mm f2.8 lens using only natural light and one breath of air :)

Great Job Steve!

And yes these are just some of the creatures I find myself working with everyday ;-) 



Whale Shark & Canoe by simonjpierce Off Oslob in the Philippines, local fishers have habituated whale sharks to being hand-fed. It’s an extremely popular tourist attraction, but it’s a controversial practice - there are few, if any benefits to the sharks. I took this while working with the research team who are helping to inform management of the area.


Just the other day I danced with my first manta ray ;-)….and fell in love <3 as it twirled around us….so mesmerised was I that I didn't even notice when it tried to eat me?…or maybe kiss me? ;-) ….something that was only revealed when we looked at Jess’ pictures ;p

A beautiful encounter, with an animal that desperately needs protecting.  Though protected under Philippine law these animals are still fished - with their gill rakers and fins often being sold to accommodate the Asian market.  Swimming with such an amazing creature, only highlights how much more valuable these creatures are alive than dead, a message we all need to help share


I have had the craziest 10 days...

…hence no Tumblr. 

I necropsied a pan-tropical spotted dolphin.

I went to a provincial government meeting.

I got interviewed for two newspapers.

I monitored a severe propellor cut on a whale shark.

I lost my shark biopsy cherry.

I became a shark biopsy slut. 

It was awesome. Apart from the prop cut. That sucks. 


Dear people of the world (and in particular any Wildscreen wonders), 

This is a taster of some of the work I was involved with in the Philippines earlier this year.  It features both WWF-Philippines and Non Government Organisation (NGO) Physalus and their Large Marine Vertebrate Project.  

I will be going back out to the Philippines in January 2013 and will be working on Physalus’ Large Marine Vertebrate Project.  I intend to film updates from our projects and share them with you all.  Unfortunately to make this possible I need to get some more vital equipment.  Ideally I would love for someone to sponsor this project (dreams).  

If you think you could help in anyway, or would simply like to find out more then I would be delighted to hear from you: 

Thanks for stopping by, 

Sally x

Dr Alessandro Ponzo will be representing LAMAVE at this years Sharks International Conference in South Africa.  He’ll be presenting five (!!) presentations and one poster on our work here in the visayas. Unfortunately the rest of the team couldn’t make it, so Ale has the job of presenting talks for me, Gonzo, Kate and Maita.  If you are attending please come and say hi and if you’re not like the rest of us….then follow us on twitter @lamaveproject 

This is a photo Ale took whilst we were out on a survey yesterday in the Bohol Sea.  It’s a melon-headed whale (which is actually a dolphin)…and is just one of the species we saw whilst we were out.  The others included: Fraiser Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins, Dwarf Sperm Whales and we even saw a mobula (similar to a manta ray) jump out of the water!!  Amazing day.  More photos to follow soon…

Photo: Alessandro Ponzo

First Halo Halo!! (A very traditional Philippine drink- condensed milk, ube - a root vegetable-ice,jelly,mango,banana,jackfruit, coconut nata, cornflakes, biscuit…milk, beans)
So we are still en route to our Leyte shark destination….ale and gonzo are taking the green hornet (van) while jess and I are riding the buses…and finding time for treats ;-)

Got to share my snorkel session with this bad boy yesterday.  Got to love Green Turtles with their paint splattered shells ;-) 

This species is actually listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species a result of overexploitation of their eggs and of adult females at nesting beaches.  It’s good that we still see them in the Philippines, but in order to keep it that way, we need to make sure we continue to protect these reptiles, through raising awareness, protecting nesting sites and eradicating poaching.     

Thanks Green Turtle for swimming with me, you made my day :-)

Little bit of backstage EEA conference access….here’s a quick snap form my talk on ‘Whale Shark Provisioning: The case study of Oslob, Philippines’.  And while yes, conferences are full of talks and slides, and graphs and data, and sharks.  It is also clear that some serious hair swish shark enthusiasm goes down too.   

Shark love x

captain-wackie-deactivated20140  asked:

what are you doing at the meetings? are you a representative or a specialist or a member of government? Sorry I just didn't know and think it's super cool! You're one of the most interesting and involved people I follow so I want to know more :)


Thanks for the question! Currently I work for an NGO that runs the Large Marine Vertebrates Project in Philippines. I’m the Principal Investigator for the Whale Shark Research Project in Oslob, looking at how feeding and tourism affects the sharks. 

I meet to present our results and to recommend best management practices. The meeting on Monday was quite a disappointment actually - the heels were a waste! The province of Cebu is not going to stop the spread of feeding whale sharks to other towns. Read more here: