Bonaire’s Sharks are Subjects of a New Research Study

STINAPA, IMARES, and DCNA are commencing with new shark research in Bonaire this week.

These three organizations, with funding from the Nationale Postcode Loterij, are collaborating to learn more about the species of sharks frequenting the waters and reefs of Bonaire.

Sharks will be studied using Baited Remote Underwater Video.

Nijs Ruijs with the Baited Remote Underwater Video camerasNijs Ruijs, an intern from Hogeschool Zeeland, will be working on the new study side-by-side with STINAPA staff to investigate the sharks of Bonaire over the coming months using his BRUV units (Baited Remote Underwater Video). These stainless steel units are equipped with bait and a video camera and are left on the bottom of the sea for an hour and a half and then retrieved. The video is then analyzed for images of sharks–which species, size, or other information that can be gleaned by the videos.

STINAPA is fully supporting research to learn more about Bonaire’s top predators. Sharks and rays are over-fished throughout the world’s oceans and are currently protected by law in Bonaire. If you happen upon one of the BRUV units while SCUBA diving or boating, STINAPA kindly requests that you do not tamper with it.

Learn about Bonaire’s Yarari Shark & Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

(Source:  STINAPA)





  • Bruce Kemp

    Will the public know where the BRUVs are placed? I’m curious.

    • The Bonaire Insider

      Hi Bruce, I’m not sure, but let me see if I can find out. It’s an interesting study, to say the least!

    • The Bonaire Insider

      Hi Bruce, just some additional information. They will be dropping the BRUVs in various random locations along the coastline of Bonaire and also Lac Bay. I understand today the team will be in the water for most of the day. Since the BRUVs are down for just an hour or so, there isn’t really a set schedule.

  • Chris

    I would hope they would not be baiting the water near areas where people congregate. I for one would like to know where they plan to Place these baited cameras so I can avoid these areas while snorkeling.

    • The Bonaire Insider

      Hi Christine, I’m sure you don’t have anything to worry about. The majority of the underwater work is being done today. The team is well versed in safety issues, and they would never bring any undue risk to those in the water–swimming, diving, or snorkeling. Most of the sharks around Bonaire are in very deep water, well away from where people habitually are in shallower water. That is one reason sharks are so infrequently sighted around Bonaire. The team will need to go where the sharks are, and that is deep water.