Island Times Blog

Biologist’s Log: June 27, 2013

June 28th, 2013 by SeaTrek Staff |

We got today started off just right with an amazing dive at Diamond Reef, a Marine Protected Area between Tortola and Marina Cay (continued…)

We saw a ton of fish and different coral species in this area that is one of the BVI’s healthiest coral reefs. The students practiced a new monitoring technique, called a belt transect, to assess fish biodiversity. They continued to practice their neutral buoyancy and species identification skills by recording their observations while looking at one spot on the reef for five minutes. Most notable were three different species of grouper: Nassau grouper, graysby, and red hind. Grouper are some of the top predators on a reef. Unfortunately, overfishing and competition from the invasive lionfish have greatly diminished their numbers throughout the Caribbean. So seeing a diversity of them on a single dive was quite exciting. After the dive, we went to Monkey Point on Guana Island – a favorite turtle tagging and watersports spot. Throughout the afternoon, students enjoyed snorkeling and tubing and then we did some more turtle tagging. Our efforts paid off and we caught our second turtle of the voyage. This one was a sub-adult hawksbill turtle that had previously been tagged. Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. Then we did another night dive and saw even more interesting creatures. I’ve enjoyed seeing the students’ dive skills improve and how they’ve all become more confident divers. The students’ knowledge base continues to grow, and we are thoroughly enjoying the FATHOMS experience to the fullest!

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