Giant Trevally Welcome New Caledonia
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パノラマを撮影したのは Richard Chesher PRO EXPERT MAESTRO 撮影日 05:18, 24/02/2012 - Views loading...

Giant Trevally Welcome New Caledonia

The World > Pacific Ocean Islands > Melanesia > ニューカレドニア

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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.

  • Richard Chesher 16 days 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 over 1 year ago
    So if a pole scares Posei away, how did you take this 360?
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    このパノラマはニューカレドニアで撮影されました

    これはニューカレドニア領域の概要です

    ニューカレドニアはオーストラリアとニュージーランドに最も近い南太平洋島です。ニューカレドニアはフランス領であり、フランス語が公用語として使われておりますが、文化はメラネシア、ヨーロッパ、ポリネシア、ベトナム、中国、インドネシア等多くの国の歴史をブレンドした国際的でユニークな文化を築いております。ニューカレドニアには、グランドテールと呼ばれる1つの大きな山の様な島と6つの小さい島があります。– 3つのロイヤルティー諸島、ベレップ諸島、イルデパン島

    島には果てしなく広がる荒野があり、そして驚くほど住民が少ないアイランドです。また何百キロメートルのウオ―キングトレック、キャンプ場、42以上の公園および特別保留地と輝やく滝を保つクリスタルクリアの川があります。人口3分の1ほとんどがヌメアの首都に居住しています。ニッケル採鉱はニューカレドニア第一の産業として、国の高い生活水準への主な役割をしています。グランドテールは世界で2番目に大きい堡礁に囲まれており、この堡礁によって造られ保護されたラグーンは、世界で最も大きいと言われております。この24,000平方キロメートルの巨大なラーグンは、2008年に世界遺産として記録され、多種多様の魚と無脊椎動物の豊かな動物群をサポートしています。

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