Its a Sharky Rescue!

It was another beautiful day in Tioman, as a group of Deep Blue divers took to the waters of Pulau Jahat during the weekend of 4th July 2010.

The initial entry by the nine divers from Singapore, Phillipines and Australia into the flat crystal blue waters brewed much anticipation in all of the divers. The promise of stunning cliff faces and the Elephant rock was the dive plan. However after diving past the island, a current put those plans to rest.

A variety of fish including 2 nurse sharks trapped in an abandoned fishing cage.

A freed nurse shark swims out of the cage to freedom!

The next plan was to let the current do the work and turn the dive into a drift dive to the other end of Pulau Jahat, hence drift away from the Elephant rock. Sandy bottoms dotted with massive giant mushroom corals provided the divers with many areas to explore. One section of coral held a fish trap and a very successful fish trap it was. Upon further investigation by the divers, there was a pair of yellow box fish, numerous coral trout and wrasses and low and behold two baby nurse sharks. Alex who was leading the dive, checked the rope and noticed that this was not attached to a buoy and showed signs of algae growth, which clearly indicated that this was a death trap to all creatures caught inside now and for the future.

Deep Blue Divers to the rescue. Using dive knives, they cut open the cage's mesh frame to free the helpless sea creatures!

The group proceeded to search for a way to release these trapped creatures. However there was no door to be found. The divers then noticed that the door was located on the bottom of the trap and proceeded to all help turn the trap over. The wire door was then released and FREEDOM! The first to lethargically swim out to freedom was the nurse shark, this was slowly followed by the other weakly fishes caught in this death trap. Upon surfacing, all the divers realized that this was a small contribution to the saving of the sharks, but nonetheless, it was two sharks. Lets hope that other lost fish traps are able to be similarly made safe or not used by fisherman at all.

Article Contributed by: Alex Chin PADI OWSI Deep Blue Scuba