Heri and Ijan

We were very fortunate to meet with Heri and Ijan a few days ago. Heri is an Indonesian marine scientist who has spent quite a bit of time at the market in Tanjung Luar and is on friendly terms with many of the boat captains and crew (and if you met Heri you’d immediately like him too). Any hesitation I could have had was immediately dispelled when he started naming the shark species he’s seen at TL in Latin…whew! He will work with a small team to tackle the data logging and I’m hoping he can get a shark tissue sample so we can do a toxicology report check get methyl mercury levels and hopefully info on any other kind of evil stuff lurking around within them (BMAA* levels and anything else) – we’ll also do mantas as well while were at it. At the moment I’m checking if there are any facilities in Bali that can do a toxicology analysis. On the log sheets Heri is filling out, we've also included the other sharks species which we have ID’d in previous trips to Tanjung Luar because, even though our grant specifies Tiger, Bull sharks and mantas, this is a great opportunity to get more information for future reference and for other projects people might be working on. We’ve reapportioned our grant to provide Heri and his team with food, transport and accommodation as well as a salary to help them for all the work; which is not a pleasant task for anybody. They’ll begin their work on March 1st.

Heri and Ijan

Delphine, Heri, and I all agree that a slick powerpoint presentation is not the best way to build in-roads with the local people so we've formulated a village talk structured approach which includes a list of questions that can be discussed in a conversational format. They start with general "what does your heritage with the sea mean to you?" type questions and towards the end the discussion points get more targeted towards the information we want to know. As mentioned in previous posts, this is a very delicate matter and has to be handled with an immense amount of sensitivity. We'll have our contacts at other conservation organizations take a look at the questions when we are close to finishing them for any fine tuning. I may also try to get one of them to coach Heri on how to proceed with the questioning, how to keep it targeted, and how recognize the early signs of apprehension and how to shift course before any walls go up.

In addition to this, we are still collecting and assessing information on other locations that have had successful shifts away from negative impact fishing towards tourism as well as other untapped markets.

*BMAA is a neurotoxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases in humans including Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig Disease (ALS). Several studies have suggested that BMAA is found in shark fin soup, meat and cartilage pills and may pose a significant health risk for degenerative brain diseases.We were very fortunate to meet with Heri and Ijan a few days ago. Heri is an Indonesian marine scientist who has spent quite a bit of time at the market in Tanjung Luar and is on friendly terms with many of the boat captains and crew (and if you met Heri you’d immediately like him too). Any hesitation I could have had was immediately dispelled when he started naming the shark species he’s seen at TL in Latin…whew! He will work with a small team to tackle the data logging and I’m hoping he can get a tissue sample so we can do a toxicology report on some of the shark tissue to get methyl mercury levels and hopefully info on any other kind of evil stuff lurking around within them (BMAA* levels and anything else) – we’ll also do mantas as well while were at it. At the moment I’m checking if there are any facilities in Bali that can do a toxicology analysis. On the log sheets Heri is filling out, we've also included the other sharks species which we have ID’d in previous trips to Tanjung Luar because, even though our grant specifies Tiger, Bull sharks and mantas, this is a great opportunity to get more information for future reference and for other projects people might be working on. We’ve reapportioned our grant to provide Heri and his team with food, transport and accommodation as well as a salary to help them for all the work; which is not a pleasant task for anybody. They’ll begin their work on March 1st.


Delphine, Heri, and I all agree that a slick powerpoint presentation is not the best way to build in-roads with the local people so we've formulated a village talk structured approach which includes a list of questions that can be discussed in a conversational format. They start with general "what does your heritage with the sea mean to you?" type questions and towards the end the discussion points get more targeted towards the information we want to know. As mentioned in previous posts, this is a very delicate matter and has to be handled with an immense amount of sensitivity. We'll have our contacts at other conservation organizations take a look at the questions when we are close to finishing them for any fine tuning. I may also try to get one of them to coach Heri on how to proceed with the questioning, how to keep it targeted, and how recognize the early signs of apprehension and how to shift course before any walls go up.

In addition to this, we are still collecting and assessing information on other locations that have had successful shifts away from negative impact fishing towards tourism as well as other untapped markets.

*BMAA is a neurotoxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases in humans including Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig Disease (ALS). Several studies have suggested that BMAA is found in shark fin soup, meat and cartilage pills and may pose a significant health risk for degenerative brain diseases.