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Australia's Remote Indian Ocean Territories

A black tip reef shark cruises the shallow sunlight waters of the lagoon at the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in search of easy prey such as small fish and squid. The view beneath the water represents a near natural coral reef community, which has been exposed to limited artisinal and recreational fishing. While shark populations are being decimated world wide, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands represent a stronghold for sharks. The islands are now emerging as an important baseline to determine the level of exploitation that other similar environments have experienced, where sharks are in rapid decline.

 

I selected Prison Island (pictured) as the location for the image because it is the most idyllic island of the twenty eight islands in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and is regularly visited by black-tip reef sharks on the high tide. Split photography (half above/half below) can be challenging to say the least. The surge was pushing me back and forth, the water surface was moving and the shark was lightning fast - I was happy to get the shot.

 

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Taken on April 8, 2007