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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter!
I had the pleasure of spending the weekend filming with these babes. 
Sunrise dreams.

Photograph by Erin Calmes.

Happy Easter!
I had the pleasure of spending the weekend filming with these babes.
Sunrise dreams.

Photograph by Erin Calmes.

#keta films    #filming    #sunrise    #filmcrew    #film    #photography    

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Love the wonder of children.  

Filipino life. 

#kids    #philippines    #travel    #photography    #fruit    

#holyweek in the #Philippines the #Easter #celebrations have already started! #happyeaster

#philippines    #celebrations    #easter    #holyweek    #happyeaster    

Cool little poster from Beneath the Waves Film Festival, which featured mine and Steve De Neef’s short film ‘Tambalang’, about the seaweed farmers of Caluya, Philippines.

Cool little poster from Beneath the Waves Film Festival, which featured mine and Steve De Neef’s short film ‘Tambalang’, about the seaweed farmers of Caluya, Philippines.

#BTW    #beneath the waves    #film festival    #tambalang    #seaweed farmers    #steve de neef    #sally snow    #philippines    

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Take responsibility: Stop Shark Finning

The shark fin trade is booming due to the world-wide cooperation in killing these majestic animals.  This powerful video of a market in China not only highlights the shear numbers of sharks that are killed for their fins, but also lists the countries supplying the fins to China.  

Stop the supply -> Stop the selling.  

China may be leading the sales of shark fins, but the rest of the world  is supporting this industry by selling their precious resources.  

Sharks are worth much more alive than dead. 

Stop the shark fin trade.

#shark fin trade    #finning    #shark    #china    #market    #shark fin    #stop    #world    #sea shepard    

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The short film Steve De Neef and I made about the seaweed farmers of Caluya, Philippines has been featured by #BBC Three Fresh.

Unfortunately I can’t share their link here on Tumblr (this version is on my vimeo), but if you want to watch it on the BBC website click here and for my filmmaker profile ;-) have a goosey here 

The film is from mine and Steve’s trip to these remote islands back in December 2013 and is a look into the lives of the Seaweed Farmers the island, the devastation that #Typhoon #Haiyan brought and the communities challenge to rebuild what they lost during one of the largest storms to ever hit land.  

Massive thanks to the talented Steve De Neef -> www.stevedeneef.com  and a big thank you to our good friend Oneball, Shannon Arnold and of course the wonderful people of Caluya. 

Go philippines!

#philippines    #seaweed farmer    #alternative livelihood    #tyohoon yolanda    #typhoon haiyan    #film    #video    #documentary    #short    #sally snow    #steve de neef    #operation seaweed    #caluya    #sharktailmovies    

Monday, 7 April 2014

Research unites: Taiwan whale shark seen in the Philippines becomes first international photographic match in Asia.

Some incredible news from our LAMAVE whale shark research here in the Philippines. Go team asia ;-) !

  • P-545known as “Pasipiko” is the first whale shark in Asia to have been identified in 2 different countries.
  • This whale shark was caught in a fishing net in Taiwan in 2012 and successfully released. Less  than one year later “Pasipiko” was photographed by the researchers of the Large Marine Vertebrates Project Philippines in the waters of Southern Leyte.
  • P-545 made a 1600km+ journey between countries.
  • This underlines the importance of scientific research and the need to strengthen international protection for these endangered species.

For further information continue reading below.

“Pasipiko” (http://www.whaleshark.org/individuals.jsp?number=P-545) was first identified in Taiwan by Dr Hua Hsun Hsu from the George Chen Shark Research Centre at the National Taiwan Ocean University has been re-sighted by whale shark researchers from the Large Marine Vertebrate Project in the Philippines (www.lamave.org), over 1600 km away.

It is the first international match between Asian countries using photo-Identification, a technique that enables scientists to identify individual whale sharks by photographing their unique spot pattern.  Similar to a human fingerprint the spot pattern of each shark is thought to be unique to every individual and the match highlights the importance of the technique globally as a research tool. 

The whale shark first came to Dr Hua Hsun Hsu attention after it became entangled in a Taiwanese fishing net; he identified the individual as a juvenile male whale shark, measuring 5.4m with the top of its tail missing.  Before releasing the shark, he and his team attached a small plastic tag with a number panel to the shark’s dorsal fin to aid future identification.  The shark was released from the net in Don-Au, Yilan on the 31st of May 2012.

Under a year later, on the 6th of April 2013, researchers working for the Non-Government-Organization (NGO) Physalus on their Large Marine Vertebrates Project (LAMAVE) re-sighted the shark in the waters of Sogod Bay, Southern Leyte, Philippines. 

The team have been studying whale sharks in the Bohol Sea since 2011 as part of Physalus’ nationwide study on the status of the whale shark population in the Philippines.  The whale shark, identified internationally as P-545 (http://www.whaleshark.org/individuals.jsp?number=P-545) and renamed “Pasipiko” (Pacific Ocean in Tagalog, Philippines language) was the 30th shark identified by the research team in this remote area and the 545th whale shark to be identified in the Philippines. 

The team saw the shark for only a few minutes before it disappeared into the deep, but it was enough time to take a photo-ID of the body and to notice the small plastic attachment on the sharks’ dorsal fin.

Whale shark P545 photographed by LAMAVE Researchers in Southern Leyte, Philippines.  A hint of the yellow number tag deployed by Dr Hsu can be seen on the dorsal fin.

The tag however was missing the number panel, and the spot pattern was not present in the international database Wildbook for whale shark at www.whaleshark.org.  It wasn’t until Dr Hua Hsun Hsu joined the LAMAVE team in February 2014 to strengthen collaboration between the Philippines and Taiwan that he was able to recognize the individual.  He confirmed the finding using his photographs from 2012.

The minimum distance the shark travelled was in excess of 1600km.  The distance between the two sightings verifies the capability of these migratory animals to travel between countries and highlights the importance of protecting the species worldwide. While currently listed as vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List, whale sharks are still under threat from poaching in South East Asia and other areas around the world.  A recent report by Wild Life Risk exposed one of the biggest slaughters of whale sharks in PuQi, Zhejiang Province, China, which is thought to slaughter over 600 whale sharks annually for the production of ‘fish oil’, shark skin bags, shark fin soup and further use of the meat as food (http://wildliferisk.org/press-release/ChinaWhaleSharks-WLR-Report-ENG.pdf).  The continued threat of poaching coupled with the migratory capabilities of these sharks emphasizes the urgency to protect the species on a worldwide scale.  For over a century whale sharks were hunted in the Philippines, until became protected in 1998. Taiwan protected this species in 2007.

Scientists studying whale sharks hope that a better understanding of the sharks’ movements across regions will help aid the species protection outside the boundaries of one country, offering better protection world wide. The deployment of a satellite tag by Dr Hua Hsun Hsu in the Bohol Sea with the Large Marine Vertebrates Project, Philippines will shed further light into the migration of these giants in South East Asia and possibly beyond, while simultaneously strengthening international collaboration in shark research.   

 Author: Sally Snow, Large Marine Vertebrate Project, Philippines                         Website: www.lamave.org

Facebook: Large Marine Vertebrate Project, Philippines                                     Twitter: lamaveproject 

For more information please contact: s.snow@lamave.org

Individuals interested in purchasing photographs of shark P-545, generic whale shark photographs and LAMAVE research in Southern Leyte should visit: https://www.picfair.com/pics/whaleshark-tag; https://www.picfair.com/pics/whale-shark-lamave-1 ; https://www.picfair.com/pics/whale-shark-3 and browse the lamave project profile.

Form more whale shark or research photos contact Steve De Neef at www.stevedeneef.com

Physalus, NGO, Large Marine Vertebrate Project, Philippines - Physalus is a non-profit, non-government organization founded in Italy, operating primarily for the protection of the environment through marine conservation initiatives. Its Large Marine Vertebrates Project, Philippines (LAMAVE) was initiated in 2010 to conduct scientific research and raises awareness in the Philippines. As an NGO the project relies on grants, private donations, volunteers and sponsorship to carry out its work.

Dr Hua Hsun Hsu Ph. D.   hsuhuahsun@yahoo.com.tw

Department of Environmental Biology and Fisheries Science/George Chen Shark Research Center,

National Taiwan Ocean University, 2, Pei-Ning Road, Keelung, Taiwan 20224 

#reserach    #philippines    #taiwan    #whale shark    #shark    #conservation    #marine conservation    #science    #international    #southern leyte    

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Community love.  

I love just walking around the small fishing villages here.  There’s always so much to see - from the traditional cock fighting that goes on, to the children who help run the family shop, to the mums and babies that hang out all day together, and of course the fishermen who come home with the days catch.

#philippines    #travel    #blog    #photographs    #kids    #fishermen    #village    #cock fighting    

Friday, 4 April 2014

YAY for the whales!!!!
A fabulous little message from Greenpeace:
"The news just keeps on getting better for whales!The whales of the Southern Ocean are not going to be hunted this year for the first time in over a century after the Government of Japan has officially cancelled the planned hunt this year.For over 30 years, we (Greenpeace) have been standing together against whaling and senseless ocean destruction. Join the movement to defend the ocean now and stand together for all the next victories »http://bit.ly/QHF3tKThen SHARE this post with everyone to join the celebration!”

YAY for the whales!!!!

A fabulous little message from Greenpeace:

"The news just keeps on getting better for whales!

The whales of the Southern Ocean are not going to be hunted this year for the first time in over a century after the Government of Japan has officially cancelled the planned hunt this year.

For over 30 years, we (Greenpeace) have been standing together against whaling and senseless ocean destruction. Join the movement to defend the ocean now and stand together for all the next victories »http://bit.ly/QHF3tK

Then SHARE this post with everyone to join the celebration!”
#greenpeace    #whaling    #whale    #ban    #hunt    #japan    #celebrate    #conservation    

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Barbie goes traveling.

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time “Roaming Around”, at least that’s what my Filipino friends would say….in the UK we’d probably stick to “you’ve been travelling about”…

I guess the point is, yes, yes I have.  March was a roller-coaster (bus) ride from Central to Northern Philippines, add to that a few plane rides, a handful of ferries, a few ‘bancas’ (motorised fishing/diving boats), a cheeky cocktail…fried chicken and a drinking game which consisted of 12+ shots of Emperador (brandy) and an unfortunate event of being mistaken for a ghost, and you’re pretty much up to date.

A Cheeky cocktail in Manila.

My first port of call was Dosnol, a town famous in the Philippines for the first whale shark tourism initiative, which started way back in 1998, and yes, for those that have been following shark tails from the beginning, you’ll remember that this is where my adventure first started.  Indeed it was in the waters of Donsol that I popped my whale shark researcher cherry, volunteering with WWF-Philippines.

Well, unbelievably it’s been two years since I was last there!! And as you can imagine it was quite the trip down memory lane.  The sharks are still there, despite a recent decline in sightings and the community is still the same, though the decline in sightings in recent years has perhaps started to make the people a little more conscious of the way they conduct tourism.  If true it would definitely be a good thing, for one thing boat management is something that needs evaluating. 

In fact this is kinda why our LAMAVE team was in Donsol in the first place. We were there working with a team from the national Department of Tourism, which is currently investigating wildlife interactions in the Philippines.  We (LAMAVE) are helping them with their work on whale shark tourism. If you want to find out more, check out my recent post for our LAMAVE blog.

Us on survey in Donsol with the rest of the team…

Donsol was fun and while we were there, we also scouted out one of our new project sites, which will begin soon studying the wonderful Manta Ray.  This involved a couple of dives in a ripping current, a chance encounter with a school of Mobula Rays feeding on the surface (check out the video), me falling overboard during the surface interval in ALL my dry clothes….and a spontaneous visit to a nearby island. 

Me, still wet from my fall overboard, and Dr. AA, a freelance consultant, who’s heading the team from the Department of Tourism

From Donsol, we made our way across to Naga and then onwards and upwards towards Quezon Province to visit the municipality of Perez, where rumour had it whale sharks were hanging out.  Unfortunately despite surveying the sea for almost a week we didn’t manage to see a single whale shark.

What we do when there are no sharks….

Despite this our stay in Perez was still pretty magic and reminded me all over again the fun of being in the province.  Perez is a small, tidy municipality in the Province of Quezon, located on an island South East of Manila.  You arrive there by boat and once on the island, the reduction in traffic is noticeable – you can hear the birds singing, kids playing and the general chit-chat of the day.  The community there is apparent – everybody has their roles whether fishing, cooking, planting, keeping the house or organising the town - and the amazing thing is, is that as you walk down the street you can see each person weaving into the lives of the next.  Without each other, they would have so much less – exchanging rice for fish, homemade cakes and sweets for noodles…and of course once the sun sets you see everybody together again, be it eating together or splitting a bottle of Brandy between friends.  I got invited to drink with the ladies, eat a pigs head, suck on snails (think I’ll pass this time) and relish the taste of gabi leaves soaked in coconut milk, a local speciality.  Of course, when it came to the brandy shots that were passed around the table, quite simply I couldn’t keep up with the grandmothers I was drinking with and after what was probably the 12th round (At least to my knowledge!?) I gave up and stumbled into bed.

Oh, the things we do for conservation. 

Nah, I mean seriously ;-) our work with LAMAVE often takes us of the beaten track and quite frequently once the work is done – survey, talks with government officials, meetings with fishermen - it’s almost necessary to join in the local customs and respect your host, and Perez was no different. 

While western visitors do make it across to the island, invited by the local families, I am pretty sure I was the palest girl many of the young children had ever seen….what with their wide-eyed stares and the whispers then hysteria of seeing “Barbie”.  I know? Who would have thought I’d be Barbie – the skinny, wide-eyed, boobalicious blond girl who suffered terrible haircuts and the occasional loss of limbs in the UK….. here, she is, well, in a nut shell, mainly, white.  So me.  Yes me. Thank you, I have been working hard at keeping this pale skin, anything but sun-kissed and its nice to be recognised.

Probably my favourite shot, of one of the girls reaction to finding me, Barbie, in her neighbours house.

HOWEVER Barbie was perhaps not my Oscar winning performance, you see that was for something a little more terrifying, well at least for my hosts granddaughter.   Gwen is 2, she’s a cheeky, smiling girl who can really move to gangman style (I mean REALLY move it).  Along with her cousins they’d been spying on Kate, the first of our team to arrive on the island, a Filipina from Manila.  Kate was pretty interesting because her dad’s Chinese, so she doesn’t look classically Filipina.  The kids were intrigued.  However unknown to them I had arrived that afternoon and was in our bedroom and as I opened the door I found myself faced with 4 children, three ran away laughing at being caught, the fourth, Gwen stood frozen, absolutely terrified, before screaming and bursting into a panic fit of tears.  Visibly shaking with tears flying from her face, I didn’t know what to do. 

She thought I was a ghost. 

Fortunately before I could try and comfort her, and probably give her a heart-attack, she fled from the room and down the stairs.  I didn’t see her for 3 days. 

I felt terrible. 

Luckily children are prepared to offer a change of hearts and by day 4 she would allow herself to look at me, by day five she smiled, and then on day 6 when it was time to go, she treated me to a performance of gangman style. 

Yes, Perez was simply quite magic.  

Kate, with one of the local childrens’ dyed :-( chicks….

#travel    #blog    #philippines    #whale shark    #lamave    #sally snow    #manila    #photography    #writing