Wednesday, December 31, 2008

South Cottesloe Beach - Port Jackson sharks

I spotted four Port Jackson sharks (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) off South Cottesloe yesterday afternoon. They were resting on the sandy floor where the water was about 5 meters deep.


The next two photos are the more presentable ones that I took after many attempts to dive down and get near them. It would have been easier if there was a rock or something around them that I could hold on to.




Finally when I began to feel a slight cramp in my calf muscles, I decided to move on.

I have seen the fish before when I visited Aquarium Western Australia. But seeing them in the wild is definitely a special experience to me.

6 comments:

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Chai
They are an interesting small shark.
Fishermen often kill them indiscriminately, unfortunately. So, I have often seen them dead on beaches. Their skin is like sand-paper. Very rough.
Given their name, they are obviously very wide spread. Port Jackson is the official name for Sydney Harbour - along way from you.
Cheers
Denis

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Denis,

Thanks. I didn't know that Port Jackson is Sydney Harbor till now.

Anyway, these PJ's look so beautiful and friendly that I wouldn't mind making them my pets! Sad to hear that fishermen often kill them. Are they unwanted bycatch?

ria said...

What beautiful sharks! I always look forward to your posts about your fascinating marine life.

Yes, such a pity to hear they are often killed.

Robert said...

Nice photos! I love Port Jackson sharks. I've never seen one in the wild. (yet)

We've finally ventured to Cottesloe, and both trips were fantastic!

Both times we've seen some kind of long, thin fish that we can't identify. It has cat whiskers.

Any clues?

I did comics about both trips:

http://tedprior.livejournal.com/361065.html

http://tedprior.livejournal.com/361251.html

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Robert,

I saw an eel-like fish during my last trip too. I think it's an estuary catfish. And it was right there where I entered the water! 2 feet deep maybe.

estuary catfish 1

estuary catfish 2

estuary catfish 3

estuary catfish 4

Anyway, I LOVE your comics! I suspect that you are starting a (new?) comic genre called "marine life comic"!

I am so tempted to write a short post about your marine life comic on this blog. Would it be alright with you?

I believe your comic can be made into an effective tool in educating the public about marine life and their conservation. Serious. They are not too full-on and are easy to understand and take in. Good work, mate!

Robert said...

Thanks for your help! I updated my post to show one of your photos and gave you a plug.

And of course you are welcome to link my comic! I'd appreciate it in fact.

I will warn that my comic aren't always appropriate for all ages, so you may want to mention that.

Last year I planned to draw 20 marine comics about creatures suggested by my readers, I only got to three though:

http://tedprior.livejournal.com/320795.html
http://tedprior.livejournal.com/321454.html
http://tedprior.livejournal.com/322511.html

I guess they aren't really very educational though. ;P

Thanks again!

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