27th September, 2005

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    Now we are fully launched into the “Blogosphere” we can get underway with updates from both base and field.

    Having newly arrived at the base in Andavadoaka our new volunteers were invited to the wedding of Mr Sidoine (an octopus sous collector). 14 Blue Ventures staff and volunteers joined the party for lunch in the Grand Salle of the village Catholic Mission. Over 100 people joined in the festivities and were treated to a sit down lunch with drinks and a many-tiered wedding cake was brought out. Following that there were speeches music and dancing.

    On Thursday 22nd September Andavadoaka has celebrated a new arrival – Tson Tso (trigger fish) our new boat. It was christened by a Malagasy fomba, a traditional ceremony, both Tulear before its maiden voyage and also in Andava before its first ever dive trip.

    On Sunday 25th a new face also arrived at Andava – Minna Epps, our new socio-economic researcher started her handover from Josephine our 1st socio economic researcher, who will be leaving us after 9 months in the position, at the end of October.

    On a more general note. Malagasy and German scientists have found 2 new species of lemur in Madagascar: the giant mouse lemur and Goodman’s mouse lemur. Lemurs are exclusive to Madagascar and sadly are the most endangered of all primates, with a third of all species already extinct. These discoveries highlight that there is still so much of Malagasy biodiversity that needs to be explored and understood.