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Rachel T. Graham
Whale Shark Spotted Outside the Reef!
The picture above was taken by Vickie Kornfuhrer, Owner of Sunset Beach Resort on Friday, February 3rd, 2006. Vickie and her husband were fishing with Alberto Bradley outside the reef and were amazed to see it. Size was judged to be about 20 plus feet as it was bigger than the boat. Luckily she had her camera in its under water case, and ready for photos. Whale Sharks do not usually linger in Ambergris Caye waters but are known to pass by.
The sole living member of its family, the whale shark is the world’s largest living fish. Its massive, fusiform body reaches lengths in excess of 46 feet (14 meters). It has alternating thin white vertical bars and columns of spots on a dark background, with long ridges along the upper side of the body and a prominent lateral keel. The narrow mouth extends across the full width of its flattened head. The eyes are small and far forward on the head. Each nostril has a small barbel and the gill slits are long and extend above the pectoral fins. Above the relatively small pelvic fins are the first of two dorsal fins. The powerful caudal fin is semicircular. It was well-developed internal spongy filters at the gill arches, which help to retain small prey within its huge mouth. This mechanism may impede the flow of water through the mouth during swimming, which limits the amount of plankton the shark can strain. So, as well as filter feeding, it can also pump water into its mouth to feed on concentrated patches of plankton.
Diet: This shark swims slowly near the surface, consuming small crustacean plankton, small fishes, such as sardines and anchovies, and even larger fishes such as mackerel.
Reproduction: The whale shark is a live-bearer. Pregnant females were recently found to contain hundreds of young, up to about 2' (60cm) long. Habitat: The whale shark is found in all tropical and subtropical oceans, along coastal regions, and enters lagoons on tropical islands. It is mostly seen on the surface were divers and snorkelers can swim with this gentle, curious creature. ambergriscaye.com
Sapadilli Tam - (A Sailor's Tale)
By James S. Martinez
for Belize Audobon Society Newsletter
PREFACE- Recently, tourists to Belize have been flocking to a southern caye for a unique ocean event. The unforgettable, mind blowing experience of swarming with the whale shark (Rhiniodon typus), largest of the shark family and largest fish in the world at over 40 ft in length, has stirred a lot of excitement in Belize. The magnificent fish, characterized by its huge size, wide mouth and distinctive pattern of spots, can be seen feeding amidst spawning snappers during certain months of the year.
But nearly eighty years ago, the legendary
very existence of this monstrous fish was immortalized in a humorous
poem by James S. Martinez entitled "Sapadilli Tam". The poem forms a
part of a 1920 collection of his works entitled, Caribbean Jingles
- Dialect and Other poems of British Handuras.
James, the humble and self-educated son of a mahogany woodcutter, was a
prolific poet whose simplistic style often captured and reflected the
local atmosphere of that period of our Belizean History. Early British
Honduran fishermen nicknamed the Whale Shark "Sapadilli Tam" because
the huge fish was frequently sighted around Sapodilla Cayes off the
Southern Coast of Belize.
You want to hear of of w'at I know,
Now list'n don't y'u be supprise;-
De fust time dat I seen dat shark,
Jus' den dere came in sight a sail,
But w'en it get to us quite near.
He check his speed den round us swim;
He start at once de food to eat,
An' so it was we get away,
Dere's some strange story dat I hear,
A dorey once was coming o'er,
So we'n dey went asho' an' look,
'Tis also tol' dat coc'nut tree,
But many a time about dat sea,
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The Sedi Elrington Controversy
Although I am totally against these Guatemala-Belize talks and find them "Masochistic"
To us as a sovereign people and country, I would like to weigh in on Mr. Elrington's comments. By not being concise he opened up a Pandora"s box and left room for interpretations, not only infuriating his people but sending the wrong message to the OAS in such a serious matter which could greatly compromise our position and cause irrevocable damage if it reaches the ICJ. This in my opinion makes him not competent for the tough job at hand.
Make "No Mistake about It" Sedi you are swimming with "Great Whites" disguised as Dolphins and they are experts in the art of swaying you over. Ingratiation is their forte.
They will wine you, dine you, praise you, befriend you, work on your Emotional Quotient and pretty soon you are SEEING their SIDE. A nice Belizean man like you is no match for these guys. You need to be the man I know you can be and apologize to the Belizean People for your inadvertent mistake and remove yourself from this game as you are simply not cut out for it. A smart man knows his limitations!
Words are extremely powerful and this Guatemalan contingent knows this fact. This is not a one man show. The Guatemalans get all the professional linguistic support and assessment from their best advisers before any press release is given. Their T's are carefully crossed and their I's are strategically dotted. Every word is carefully constructed, exacting and deliberate. This is the Big Leagues.. And this is why our Government needs to immediately make a press release clarifying Belize's position as a people in reviving that old Belizean slogan "WE NO WAH NO GUATEMALA"!
Our Belizean Contingent must therefore NOT lose sight of the FACT that these people want to take our country away from us and as such they are the ENEMY! This is not a social club; this is a Defining Endeavour being embarked upon, possibly ending who we are as a people and a country. Who we were and who we are to be, our history, our hopes, our children's hopes and dreams. Not to be taken likely..This Issue is BIGGER than all of you Collectively..for I can tell you with Certainty."YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME AND MY FAMILY!"
I certainly don't believe you should loose your job however, instead put in an area where you can better serve your country.
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