The well-known Dutch television show ‘Vroege Vogels’ visited Curaçao and St. Maarten this week to film a special episode on sharks. “Through my work, I have been fortunate to interact with a lot of animals in the wild, but this has to be the most impressive one yet,” says Menno Bentveld, the presenter of the show. “Encountering sharks in their underwater home was awe inspiring, they are truly the masters of the deep. They are gracious, gentle creatures and I felt comfortable diving with them.” The episode will showcase the work done by the Save Our Sharks project.
On Curaçao, the crew covered school kids being taught nature lessons at the Carmabi Research Station and the replanting of mangroves in Piscadera Bay with mangrove expert Ryan de Jongh. After that, they joined researchers from Wageningen Marine Research out at sea to track down sharks in the deep with underwater cameras.
The film makers spent three days on St. Maarten with the Nature Foundation following all the work they do for shark conservation and research both below and above the surface of the ocean. “St. Maarten’s is unique in this area as we have a great variety of shark species” says Tadzio Bervoets, manager of the Nature Foundation. “We find nurse sharks and Caribbean reef sharks on the reefs and there are tiger sharks and hammerheads in the open ocean. We have different monitoring programs for all of them.”
Days were spent chasing the elusive sharks in an attempt to tag them for scientific research. After two days and 48 tries, the crew finally caught up with a 2.85 m. female tiger shark. She was given a full scientific workup and was safely released back into the wild after being named Liselot, after Bentveld’s daughter.
The Vroege Vogels episode will be aired on December 20th at 7.20 pm on NPO2.