August 12, 2011
The Golden Shadow is back on the western shore of Great Inagua and the day has been packed with activity, as team members leave and arrive, new research projects are launched, and scientific surveys around Great Inagua continue. Early this morning we bid farewell to our Bahamian friends who have been on board since the beginning of the expedition helping with scientific surveys of Great Inagua and Hogsty Reef. Two new team members joined us today, Alannah Vellacott, a student at College of The Bahamas, and Tavares Thompson, Park Warden with the Bahamas National Trust.
One research team in particular is excited to begin following-up on previous research projects from the Cay Sal expedition (26 April to 18 May 2011). Team Parrotfish is studying herbivorous reef fish, and is made up of Dr. Sonia Bejarano, a Living Oceans Foundation Fellow, and Christian Clark, the current North American Rolex Scholar. Dr. Bejarano has been studying herbivorous reef fish internationally. In the Bahamas, these are usually species of parrotfish and surgeonfish. She is attempting to understand how many herbivorous fish live in an area (their abundance) and how much they feed in and around the coral reefs. During the Cay Sal expedition, Dr. Bejarano used fish counts and underwater video cameras to record herbivorous reef fish abundance and feeding behavior respectively.