Posts Tagged ‘lionfish’
March 29, 2012
Throughout this week, students from two high schools—Gig Harbor High School in Gig Harbor, Washington and Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, Arizona—have been virtually following the Global Reef Expedition to learn more about the work of the Living Oceans Foundation. Recruited through the Coral Reef Educator on the Water (CREW) Program, the schools represent entirely different environments from that of Navassa. They recently had an opportunity to submit questions to Navassa Mission researchers.
March 17, 2012
St. Patrick’s Day saw the Calcutta leaving early for the far eastern end of Pedro Bank. The route took us across an area of deeper water and larger swells, so it took close to three hours of hard bouncing to cover the 41 km (25.5. mi) to Portland Rock, without a doubt one of the least inviting islets in the Caribbean. A nub of steep, sharp rock lashed by waves and covered with guano, it still had a few fisherman’s tents on top and a handful of fishing boats pulled up nearby.
Unfortunately, even after asking these knowledgeable locals for advice, we weren’t able to find any spots with more than minimal coral cover, and the underwater visibility was low. Andy and Phil decided it would make better sense to backtrack another 30 minutes to tiny Blower Rock. The first dive was marked by huge colonies of star coral (Montastraea faveolata and M. annularis) up to 2.6 m (8.5 ft) across. We spotted our first nurse shark as soon as we entered the water, but Rachel soon got a closer look.
March 14, 2012
Today was a busy day: three dives and - finally – calm enough seas to launch the Twin V with Steve Schill’s sidescan sonar. The original plan was to do one dive, then stop by Middle Cay and ask the local fishermen for their thoughts on where to find good, protected patches of coral. But the visit was postponed after a fishing boat swung by the Calcutta as we were loading supplies and suggested a few locations on the spot. The crew of the Golden Shadow was happy to fill up their water container. Since the islands have no water sources besides rainfall, fresh water becomes currency out here, like a real-life version of the movie Waterworld.
The first dive took us to ridges of staghorn coral interspersed with deep sand pockets. A small nurse shark was resting under a low branch of coral. Toward the end of the dive, someone spotted a gaudy fish with red and black stripes and spots covering its body and long, wavy fins. Almost everyone in range had the same thought: who has the fish spear?
August 15, 2011
Although no one knows for certain how they came to be in the Caribbean Sea, lionfish are probably here to stay. Living Oceans Foundation research divers have noted lionfish on every dive in Great Inagua and Hogsty Reef so far. Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) surveys first detected lionfish around Andros Island, Bahamas in 2007, although they may have been present prior to that date. Since then, their numbers have been steadily rising, as has the size of the individual lionfish observed during survey dives. Today, lionfish are present throughout the Caribbean. In fact, lionfish have been spotted in the Western Atlantic Ocean as far north as Rhode Island, and as far south as Colombia.