Washington, USA, June 2011


Scubster, from dream to dive.


The astronaut, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, a member of the teams navigating the space shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour, presented the “Innovation Award” to Stephane Rousson and the Scubster team at the 11th International Submarine Race.


Perched on a bridge of the biggest American marine research center, the Carderock Naval Warfare Surface Center, I can only look back on this exciting dive piloted by my friend, Stéphane.  An exceptional moment!


Between Villefranche and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, we spent an hour underwater.  It was an artificial basin, but the adrenaline of challenging other submarines from so many other countries and the demonstration of remarkable teamwork will remain a wonderful souvenir.


Propelled by two propellers linked to cranks by a belt, the Scubster can reach up to 8 km/h!  It also flies the colours of Eco-Sys Action since the adventurers of Scubster support our Whale shark project in the Philippines. 


Like with his adventure in a pedal powered balloon, Stéphane Rousson has once again demonstrated that dreams become reality with patience and tenacity, whether they are underwater or aerial. 



Donsol, Philippines, June 2011


The world's rarest shark!


I received some astonishing news when I was flying to Donsol, one of the world's whale shark capitals: a megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) had been discovered in Mexico, only the 52nd since the first sighting of this mysterious animal in Hawaii in 1976.



Two years ago, number 42 was caught in a fishing net at a depth of 200 meters and was taken to Donsol.  Measuring more than 4 meters long and weighing in at 500kg, it didn't survive it's injuries and was eaten in “kinout,” a local recipe with coconut, sadly, very often using manta ray.  For a meal, which was without doubt one of the rarest in the world, this shark was lost to science.  It was one of the fishermen who told me this remarkable story. 


Little is known about the megamouth shark.  It appears to pass most of it's time at a depth of around 1000 meters and then rise toward the surface to feed on plankton, jellyfish and small fish.  Like  whale sharks and basking sharks, megamouth sharks are filter feeders.  It's name is credited to it's enormous mouth (up to 1.3 meters wide) which is filled with tiny teeth. 


Several symbols surround this very rare take in Donsol.  First of all, it is undeniable that very little is known about the depths of the ocean and the mysterious animals that live there.  It is also proof of the indisciminating damage caused by drift nets on all ocean life.  Whale sharks are too often victims.  On a more positive note, there is no longer any doubt about the richness of sea life in Donsol.  This region possesses an incredible biodiversity that must be conserved, a treasure to protect, and quickly.  The whale sharks are making no mistake when they stop in Donsol during their annual migration. 


It is time to go and tell this story to the students in the schools of Donsol and Sorsogon province.  They don't know much about the marine life in the area surrounding them and in their eyes it is a mystery.  We often only protect what we know! 


A short trip to meet the megamouth shark:

All Post
Indonesia Hong Kong India Qatar Africa (By Flight) Burkina Faso Botswana Purple Cake Day Happy World Sparrow Day! A Connected World The battle of the cheetahs Passion to Live Scubster, from dream to dive. The world's rarest shark! The Eco-Sys Action Football Cup (EAFC) in Kaw, French Guiana wins the Jean Roland Prize. A wink from Jean-Pierre Papin
See More