and Yosy Neeman first sailed the Undersea Hunter to Cocos
Island in 1990. They set high standards for one of the
only two live-aboard dive vessels to service the remote
island. Only a handful of guards stood watch over the
park and very few of these officials were SCUBA certified.
The scientists who visited the island stayed for only
short periods of time. Their research was usually focused
on collecting specimens which were preserved and transported
back to laboratories where the flora and fauna were examined
that none of the visiting scientists had the access or
funds to set up a long term study that would record key
Cocos marine species over time. So he set up his own
study. Armed with passion for the island's resident species
and a commitment to learn more about the ebb and flow
of these remote populations, Avi developed a "count
sheet" over eleven years ago. Since then, the crew
aboard the Undersea Hunter collected over 11,000 sheets
of data. Each sheet recorded environmental conditions
such as temperature and numbers of key marine species
counted on a particular dive.
The crew aboard
the Undersea Hunter and now the Sea Hunter continue to
collect information on a regular basis. Until recently,
all this valuable information continued to be accumulated
but was virtually unused. The fact that so many dives
had been recorded gave this body of data strong statistical
Avi turned his thousands of pages of data over to a scientist
interested in examining the relationship between Cocos
species and temperature. Under his supervision, all the
data was entered into a computer database. The findings
of this comparison are currently "In Press"
At the Imaging
Foundation, we thought it would be interesting to juxtapose
different aspects of this data. Comparing hammerhead
to marble ray populations during the same time period
might show a predator/prey correlation. Examining different
species counts at different depths would also be intriguing.
look at our preliminary graphs. During our Imaging Foundation
Expedition, we did additional species counts and then
crunched this data with the pre-existing information.
We generated the graphs seen below. We hope this information
is helpful for your research, or even for deciding the
best time of year to visit Cocos Island!
Hammerheads vs Temperature
Annual Marine Life Populations
Various Species by Temperature
Detailed Hammerhead Population vs Water Temp.
Various Species by Month