Thursday, April 7, 2016

Chagos 2016 - Day 3

Scientists from TRCC and GTOPP are at sea in the Indian Ocean with the Bertarelli Foundation's Chagos Archipelago Science Expedition 2016.  Dr Heather Koldewey, Chief Scientist of the Expedition, wrote: 
Day 3 highlights – 7th April 2016 , Peros Banhos

Turtle Team
  • Today saw two good hawksbill turtle tracks:
  • One at Ile Diamant
  • One at Ile Yéyé (picture). This track was extremely fresh – either from last night or early morning
  • Thanks Benoit and Lukas for continuing the turtle research! 

Coral Reef Team
  • A busy day of surveys around Petit Coquillage in Peros Banhos and we enjoyed a turtle inspection and seeing reef and nurse sharks during the dives.
  • Limited bleaching at present–only in occasional colonies. Water temperature is currently warm at 30- 31 degrees C.

Monitoring the reef ecosystem
  • A newly designed automatic water sampler was deployed that collects water every 2 hours over a 24 hour period.
  • The collected water will be sent back to Stanford University to precisely measure different forms of carbon.
  • We will then quantify the calcification to net photosynthesis ratio to monitor ecosystem function.
Tagging & Array Team
  • The array team continued to recover and redeploy receivers in the array, servicing 10 receivers and expanding our array at Speakers Bank.
  • The expansion of the array at Speakers Bank included the first deployments of acoustic receivers set on acoustic releases, expanding our ability to monitor deep water habitats.

A nurse shark inspects a receiver

  • The tagging team tagged one grey reef shark and caught and sampled a variety of pelagic fishes at Speakers Bank.
  • The surprising abundance of pelagic fish at Speakers Bank led Dr Barbara Block to refer to it as a “tuna hotel”. 

Robbie with a yellowfin tuna at Speakers Bank. This fish was released. 

Thanks to all on Vava II, especially the Captain and crew, for a fantastic and productive day! 

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