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Epic Adventures in French Polynesia Continue: Sharks and Stingrays Galore

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Photo by Jason Metcalfe

My ‘Adventures in Biology’ series continues this week with another story from my travels to the island of Moorea in French Polynesia. In this episode, I am joined by Dr. Cecile Gaspar of the conservation and research society ‘Te Mana o Te Moana‘. Housed at the Intercontinental Moorea Resort and Spa, this non-profit society is active in research and conservation projects all around the country. Dr. Gaspar takes me to a nearby lagoon where we spend some time with stingrays and discuss aspects of her PhD thesis, which looked at the potential effects of tourism on local populations. In addition to practicing responsible practices of ‘stingray-feeding’, local tour operators are cognizant of the black-tip sharks in the area and the potential for tourism-based impacts their populations as well.

Photo by Jason Metcalfe

In addition to the incredible beauty of Moorea, this short film provides some really interesting information about how tourism, science, and society are all working in harmony. Enjoy!



Carin Bondar About the Author: Carin Bondar is a biologist, writer and film-maker with a PhD in population ecology from the University of British Columbia. Find Dr. Bondar online at, on twitter @drbondar or on her facebook page: Dr. Carin Bondar – Biologist With a Twist. Follow on Twitter @drbondar.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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