Island Times Blog

A Day in the Field

July 19th, 2013 by SeaTrek Staff |

Fieldwork Day!!! So this is what FATHOMS is all about…hands-on, minds-on science!

Today the teams went to the field to collect data for their research projects. The Patch Reef Team went out with an EarthWatch student group from California to monitor reef complexity and fish populations. The data are important because their findings will help support the establishment of a Marine Protected Area adjacent to the Cape Eleuthera Institute. The Sharks and Flats Ecology teams went to a nearby mangrove creek and used nets to catch bonefish and lemonsharks that were measured and then tagged for a variety of ongoing research projects. The Sharks Team also went offshore to set up a longline to try and catch larger sharks (reef, tiger, nurse) for a project that focuses on the impacts of longline fishing on the behavior and physiology of sharks that are caught. The Flats Ecology team is looking at the distribution of bonefish throughout several mangrove creeks on Eleuthera. Bonefish fishing is a key component of Bahamian culture and tourism and coastal development has been shown to diminish their numbers. It was an awesome day that the students enjoyed very much – but by the time 4:00 rolled around, they were pretty tired. It was a valuable experience for them to see what a day in the field is really like and how much work it requires. After a quick snack and rest, some of us went for a dive along a nearby wall that also had a plane wreck. It was nice to get another dive in before dinner. We ended the day with a video about the Bahamas and an inspirational TED talk by the mother of oceanography, Sylvia Earle. Great day!!!

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