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21 September: Collector Cam (Timor-Leste Expedition)

By: Michael Hugill, Category: Science, Date: 22 Sep 2012

It's one thing to explain how fish collecting is done, it's another to see it in action... so I strapped a camera to a marine biologist.

Timor-Leste Marine Expedition #84

Michael Hugill © Australian Museum

As explained in an earlier post, in many ways museums collect specimens in order to save them. Taxonomic records form the basis of natural science, and the records we make on this trip could assist with the development of a protected area network in Timor-Leste.

As our boat approached what, at that time of the morning, was a genuinely glittering bay near Tibar, approximately one hour west from Dili, I realised that snorkel cam was no match for scuba cam. I asked Mark if he'd consider wearing my GoPro camera on his head and he was only too happy to oblige.

The team had requested to be taken to a location with sea grass in order to see different fauna to the previous diving locations. Unfortunately, there was no seagrass to be found that day and so the divers made the most of the scattered coral heads, rubble and sand (which is something our marine inverterbrate and crinoid divers were happy about).

And as you'll see, these marine scientists can't go anywhere without someone wanting to take their photo, not even 7 metres underwater.

A big thanks to Mark for his help with the editing the video too!

Follow our expedition on the Timor-Leste Expedition homepage and look out for updates from our Facebook and Twitter accounts.