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             Saturday, August 16, 2008 

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Young Tarpon in Belize
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Shipstern Nature Reserve is located in the north-eastern corner of Belize. The Reserve covers an area of more than  27,000 acres and protects a wide array of habitats, ranging from saline wetlands and lagoons to Yucatan tropical moist and dry forests. Shipstern Nature Reserve is home to all five cat species of Belize, the endangered Baird’s Tapir and a myriad of other plant and animal species, some of them very rare. For example, almost 300 species of birds have been recorded for Shipstern. After 17 years of existence, Shipstern is today in the process of becoming a National Park.
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Young Tarpon in Belize
It's always special for me to see tarpon on a dive. A Google search says these guys can get up to 8' and 350 lbs. Thats a big fish. Most of the ones I have seen have been in the 5' to 6' range. And they are unconcerned by divers. What I have noticed is that during the day they spend their time in small groups. I have never seen just 1 during the day and they seem pretty lethargic. At night they become a little territorial while feeding along the reef. Its as if each one has staked out their section of the reef to feed and they respect each others section.

It was stunning, coming around the reef and seeing that. There were at least 2 tarpon slowly munching their way through the silver sides. It was the second dive after doing the Blue Hole. The tarpon were below and away from us. We had already hit our max depth so there was no getting a better angle.

Photograph by Dawghed             
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