PNG 2015

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Another "just back from..."

This time its just back from a week of fish surveys in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea.

Similalry to the last trip in December 2013, it was great to be out in the jungle streams again with my team of PNG enviros and catching a wide range of really cool fish and macroinvertebrates.

We managed to survey four streams, but had to pass up on two others due to no helicopter to access one and civil unrest (directed towards the client by villagers that did not get employed by the mine) at a village near the other site.

We caught similar species to last time, but far fewer of them, as the rainy season had started and we had limited access for the elecrofisher due to high volume flows.  We even almost lost one of the team when he slipped off a large log and was pulled under it by the current (see first photo of the log crossing).  It sure gave the rest of us a fright until he popped back to the surface a few meters downstream of the log.  These local enviros, tough as they are, took it in their stride.  However, I suspect we were just very very lucky!

Fish species that we caught included:

  • North New Guinea Rainbowfish Melanotaenia affinis

  • Walking Catfish Clarias batrachus

  • Gjellerup's Mouth Almighty Glossamia gjellerup 

  • Hamilton's Barila Barillius bendalisis

  • Putitor Mahseer Tor puitora

  • Freshwater Prawn Macrobrachium mammilodactylus

Banap Creek and the team seine netting.

Anagri Creek and the team sussing out the site (i.e. likely smoko and chewing betel nut).

Eastern Creek turbid with mine sediments post downpoor and then a few hours later.

A catch of mostly Northern New Guinea rainbowfish Melanotaenia affinis.

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And a typical mining camp dinner.  I really liked it, great flavours, but you have to be aware it has mystery meat!  Clockwise from top left: pickled spicy veggies, taro, rice, bush cucumber, chilli and bean with mystery meat No. 1 and sweet boiled mystery meat No. 2.