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28.1.16

Coral catshark comeback

WO HO  our coral catsharks are breeding!!! Great news

In 2013, we bought 25 coral catsharks from the live fish trade and saved them from being eaten. We have also bought Humphead wrasse and Humpback groupers and successfully released them. We released the coral catsharks on Pom Pom Island and now they can be seen on most night dives
The great news is that last night we saw a juvenile coral catshark - this cutiepie individual was only just larger than a hand so definitely less than one year old.  Immigration from other islands is of course possible but unlikely given how deep the water is around the island and how few sharks there are on any Semporna reef SO the great conclusion is that we have had breeding success. 


Lets drink a toast to the coral catshark populations that are making an effort to repopulate the pom pom reefs.

With several years of reef recovery, the fish population of the Pom Pom Island protected area is now large enough to support more sharks.  We have a plan to save more sharks from being eaten and reintroduce them to protected reefs.  Click here for more info about our shark saving activities.

Coral cat sharks swimming around the reef - much better than being eaten :-)

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27.1.16

marine biology fieldwork -jetty communities

Rocky shore Zonation practical for the Cambridge (CIE 9693) A level Marine science course.  TRACC teach this class once each year from January to April.  The first fieldwork practical of the course was a study of the zonation on the man made wooden jetty on Pom Pom Island, Sabah Malaysia.

The students marked the posts at 50 cm intervals relative to the tidal chart datum (lowest astronomical tide).  The location of the barnacle zone and the snail zone was measured in relation to this fixed chart datum.  The vertical position relative to the tide of all of the visible snails was measured for 7 jetty legs.   Observations were made that the snails were more abundant on the N side legs (shaded by the jetty above) and on the South side legs (not shaded from above) the snails were mostly on the side of the leg away from the sun.

The results showed clear concentration into discrete zones by both barnacles and snails.  The barnacles were concentrated into the zone from 50cm above cd to 90cm above cd with a few on the shady North legs at upto 110cm.
The snails were more abundant on the North legs (average 14 per leg) than on the South Legs (average 5 per leg).  The snails were also found higher up the Shady legs (average position of top snail was 1.7m (N legs) compared with 1.4m (S Legs).  The zonation of the snails is on the kite graph and the snails were most abundant at 1.4m above CD.

It is clear that the snails are actively choosing the shady jetty legs and if they are on the sunny side legs then they find the shadiest spot.  On the shady legs they can also rest between tides higher up the leg presumably because it is cooler.

These results lead to more questions about ecology and behaviour that the A level class will be answering in the near future.

More blogs on Marine science class 2016
More info on the Cambridge Marine science A level class












 Become a volunteer in 2016 here

Conservation projects 2016

For more information, please check our website or e-mail info@tracc-borneo.org 


The main website is at tracc.org
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Getting good grades at A level

TRACC only offers one A level, Cambridge Marine science 9693 and we get excellent results including in 2015 - the student with the highest marks in the world.
Our record for A grades is 75%.  That's a whole lot of UKAS points if you want to get into uni, or its a good step towards your first year at college.

shoreline transects are next to the classroom.
One of the reasons we get such good grades it that it's much easier to do your A-levels like this than it is in a 2-year school setting. At school you will be tested on something you studied 18 months earlier. In this course no information is more than 3 months old. Also, school might devote 6 hours a week to an A-level. We have people living and breathing science constantly. It goes in by osmosis almost. Plus, there's nothing else to study for.
Up close and personal with mangrove forests

You're only holding 1/3rd of your A-level information in your brain.

Finally, we spend the whole of revision week revising this one subject and doing past papers. It gets to the point where people say "Oh, this question was on yesterday's paper with different numbers". In practice tests our students start to count the marks they DIDN'T get, rather than the marks they did.

OH yes, having the ecosystems and biodiversity next to the jetty cannot hurt either.  A few days ago we interrupted class to go and watch Pilot whales and Dolphins.  Today, we watched giant frog fish and blue ring octopus in our lunch break!  We also have turtles nesting and amazing coral reefs around the island.

Study time after a diving practical
We can only offer the A level class once each year but our volunteers, gap year travelers who come for shorter periods also learn a lot about marine conservation, scientific diving, ecosystems and biodiversity.


More blogs on Marine science class 2016
More info on the Cambridge Marine science A level class
















 Become a volunteer in 2016 here

Fish population growth     Video

Rescued shark
Conservation projects 2016

For more information, please check our website or e-mail info@tracc-borneo.org 


The main website is at tracc.org
Check out our social media posts on our activities
on fb tracc.borneo
on twitter tracc_borneo
Beach study using profiles, transects
 and quadrats.
on google + tracc 
Instagram  traccborneo


Tides make so much more sense
 when the students watch them change each day.

Wet suit model on Pom Pom Beach

wet suit model on beautiful beachAll beaches need more of these  :-) Beautiful ladies in the latest design of wetsuit.  Sun, Sea, Sand, Scuba complete with Marine conservation, awesome diving and models,  fantastic especially since the lady is also very talented and a committed conservationist.
wet suit model on beautiful beach


In November 2015 we were lucky enough to have a visit from Cynthia a keen enthusiastic Ocean saver from Texas USA,  She dived with TRACC to see how we conserve coral reefs, she planted corals and helped us with the biggestsharkinborneo.  We discussed tactics and explored ways to save the sharks, turtles and biodiversity of the planet.


 Become a volunteer in 2016 here

Rescued shark

Conservation projects 2016

For more information, please check our website or e-mail info@tracc-borneo.org 

wetsuit model on beach
The main website is at tracc.org
Check out our social media posts on our activities
on fb tracc.borneo
on twitter tracc_borneo
on google + tracc 
Instagram  traccborneo


PS, we can't always guarantee that there will be a model on the beach but we can guarantee awesome diving and snorkelling :-)

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