What a whirlwind of a few weeks and plenty of news to share! To begin with, I have very exciting news, that we have been very lucky to have enjoyed an amazing day long shoot with the Discovery Channel! Yes sunfish have hit the spotlight! We had perfect weather, the Tonnarella was full of fish and the nets pulled up to reveal… no sunfish. What awful timing! We then spent a good few hours searching for the last deployed tags from sunfish Giorgio…. with no success. Luckily the documentary is only to be approximately 6 minutes long, so we won’t be allowed to bore people too much!
Myself (top) and Nick’s (below) interviews with Giuseppe and Antonio
In reality, this provides an honest overview of our work, showing the inconvenient truth that much of a marine biologist’s work is frustrating, time consuming and far less glamorous than the media usually portrays. Even after months of preparation, years of sunfish catch records demonstrating the abundance of fish in the area… wild animals will always be just that. Wild. Unpredictable. And of course incredibly rewarding to study!
A reminder of better days: tagging sunfish Giorgio
But despite the sunfish set backs we had a wonderful day on the water and I really want to send many, many thanks to our director Lara Landa, our interviewer and soundman Giuseppe Mangione and cameraman Antonio di Domenico! A really lovely, professional group who we had a great laugh with and who have very kindly offered to come back and film again when we have more sunfish! Watch this space!
The latest good news I have to offer is the triumphant return of sunfish Giorgio’s harness! This was found a week later, floating near Genoa by local resident Mauro whilst swimming from his boat and he very kindly contacted me straight away. So after a flurry of emails, I rushed up to Genoa and here we have Mauro with the harness which was exchanged for the 30 euro reward. I am delighted to have the first sunfish data back and cannot express my thanks enough to Mauro. Citizen science is finally becoming more and more recognised and in this case, Mauro’s actions have been invaluable!
Mauro and the well-travelled harness with data logger!!
Now to find that next fish…!