9 Likes

Giant Trevally Welcome New Caledonia
Nouvelle Calédonie

Giant Trevally, Caranx ignobilis, are big, smart, curious fish. Freddy and I nick-named this one Posei (short for Poseidon). He (a male according to his black dorsal colouring) is attracted to Freddy for two reasons.

First, Posei knows us. Giant Trevally are territorial and patrol their domains daily. This one lives in the mini-lagoon of Ilot Mato in New Caledonia and we have seen him here for many years and, of course, he has seen us snorkelling along the reefs in his domain. He likes to hang out just under our yacht, too. He knows we don't spear fish or even catch them on hook and line. Divers who enter the water with spear guns will never see Posei (we hope). I once tested this hypothesis by entering the water with a pole (a boat hook) and Posei, who was just under the yacht before I got in, was nowhere to be seen for two days.

Second, when I took this photo both Freddy and I were wearing our new zebra striped leotards. We don't look like "frogmen" and the strong contrasting pattern changes our apparent motions so the reef fish, including Posei, are less afraid of us. The first day we wore the leotards on the reef we noticed that there were more fish than we normally saw in the same areas and they allowed us to come closer than ever before. It's not camouflage - maybe just the opposite. Lion fish, sea snakes and other "dangerous" sea creatures often adopt a reverse camouflage. These vividly striped creatures are also slow moving - like us. The suits protect us from stinging medusa (even fire coral), sunburn, and are one tenth the cost of a nice French Bikini.

We have used suits similar to these for years and they proved to be effective in frightening off sharks. The old suits had straight stripes and they were broader. The new suits with their wavy narrower stripes had a completely different effect on the reef sharks. Initially they took off as desired but then they came back, looked us over very carefully, and then stuck around. I was able to get closer to them then ever before - great for photography, not so great when 5 sharks at the same time take an interest in you.

Posei has been close to us while we were snorkelling many times over the years but when ever I turned my camera towards him I'd only get a photo of him swimming away. This time he stuck around and posed for me, sometimes swimming within inches of the fisheye lens. In this image Posei and Freddy are the same distance (about 2 metres) away from the camera and you can judge the size of the fish pretty well. Freddy is 1.5 metres from head to toe (not counting the flippers) so from the photo I estimate Posei to be about 1.2 metres long. The largest recorded specimen of Caranx ignobilis was 1.7 metres long and weighed 80kg so Posei is big even for his species.

I worry about Posei because fishermen consider GT to be one of the best "sport" fish around. Here in New Caledonia tag-and release is now the norm for professional fishing guides and for fishing contests but a really big fish is often kept as a "trophy" during tournaments. Even worse are the spearfishers - just about every snorkelling male human here is an avid spearfisher and one look at Posei and they would be after him. I often see the spearfishers (both commercial and for "fun") hunting in packs, encircling patch reefs or swimming from different directions along the reef to trap unwary fish between them. With their high powered spear guns and metre-long flippers these guys are deadly.

However, large specimens of GT are often ciquatoxic and most fishermen and divers know they can be poisonous - so they are not caught or killed for food - just for fun. 

Posei's big eyes supposedly have special high density retinal cells that "see" a panoramic image so they can detect the slightest movements. That plus the fact that Posei has already survived for many years in the lagoon at Mato where lots of weekend spearfishers have stripped the reefs of larger fish, gives Freddy and I some hope that Posei might be there to welcome us next time we return to Ilot Mato.

Copyright: Richard Chesher
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 13712x6856
Chargée: 03/03/2012
Mis à jour: 26/05/2014
Affichages ::

...


Tags: giant; trevally; underwater; coral reef; fish; new caledonia; lagoon; underwater panorama; snorkelling; snorkeling; diving; spearfish; sportfish
  • Richard Chesher 4 months ago
    I did not use a pole - I hand-held the camera at arm's length upside down and swivelled with my flippers. Bit tricky but it worked OK - I've done this many times, the trick is to line up something on the bottom with the camera to keep it in one place. And have the camera automatically taking images every second while doing at least two rotations.
  • Frank Taylor almost 2 years ago
    So if a pole scares Posei away, how did you take this 360?
  • comments powered by Disqus

    Richard Chesher
    Triton Attacks Crown Of Thorns Starfish
    Richard Chesher
    Ospreys Ilot Mato New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    New Caledonia World Heritage Site Story
    Richard Chesher
    Blue Coral Patch Ilot Mato New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Ilot Mato South Lagoon New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Finding Nemo in New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Symbiosis in the Blue Lagoon, New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    New Caledonia Shark - Underwater Panorama of a Leopard Shark Stegostoma Fasciatum
    Richard Chesher
    World Heritage Site New Caledonia Lagoon Coral Reef Batfish Platax Teira
    Richard Chesher
    Bird Fish Feeding Frenzy New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Massive Ancient Coral Head New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Summer Calm in the New Caledonia Lagoon
    Alexandre Duret-Lutz
    Montmartre Sunrise
    Alexandre Duret-Lutz
    Pont de Bir Hakeim by Night
    Alexandre Duret-Lutz
    Montmartre's Caroussel
    Tina Gauer & Oli Burle - www.360tourist.net
    Alf Leila wa Leila Sunset
    kmnet
    black-headed gull
    Ricardo Cambón
    Santiago de Compostela - holiday Apostol
    Assaf Spiegler
    Transhumance, Certara, Switzerland
    Kah Wai Lin
    The Church of Adolf Fredrik
    Alexandre Duret-Lutz
    Sunrise from a bench in Montmartre
    Robert Mročka
    Pohled ze střechy meteorologické stanice na Lysé hoře
    Jochen Knepper
    Emir Sultan Moschee Hilden
    Alexandre Duret-Lutz
    Montmartre's Caroussel
    Richard Chesher
    Water Sports Noumea New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Giant Trevally Welcome New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Confrence Venue Noumea New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Jenolan Cave Concert
    Richard Chesher
    New Caledonia Underwater Photography and virtual reality coral reefs
    Richard Chesher
    Nouvata Park Pool Noumea New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Trek GR-NC1 Second Leg Pic Du Pin
    Richard Chesher
    Underwater virtual reality photography in New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Gadji anchorage Ile des Pins New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Sand Flats Ilot Mato New Caledonia
    Richard Chesher
    Noumea Resort l'Escapade Coral Reef
    Richard Chesher
    Underwater Sunlight at Ilot Kouare New Caledonia
    More About Nouvelle Calédonie

    Une Nation du Pacifique Sud, la plus proche de l'Australie et de la Nouvelle Zélande. Une chaîne de hautes montagnes, d'impressionnantes cascades et de nombreuses rivières avec une flore et une faune variée et souvent unique au monde - C'est le paradis de la randonnée pédestre ou équestre ainsi que de l'excursion en véhicule tout-terrain.Le plus grand lagon du monde, peuplé d'une faune tropicale endémique particulièrement riche, avec des récifs et des populations de poissons rares et protégées. Des centaines d'épaves sous-marines, des îlots, de nombreuses plages de sable blanc. La population calédonienne est issue d'un large brassage culturel : Mélanésiens, Européens, Polynésiens, Vietnamiens, Chinois, Japonais, et la langue et culture française. La Nouvelle-Calédonie est dotée de très bonnes infrastructures médicales et sociales. Une infrastructure touristique qui offre un large éventail de types d'hébergement allant de l'hôtel 5 étoiles au camping aménagé en passant par l'accueil en milieu tribal, les chambres d'hôtes, les refuges et l'auberge de jeunesse.