Friday, April 8, 2016

Chagos 2016 - Day 4

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 4 highlights – 8th April 2016, Peros Banhos 

Turtle Team

Today saw one turtle track on Vache Marine
Aerial surveys completed in southwest of Peros Banhos atoll
Signs (bottom) that the donkey is alive and well!
Thanks Benoit and Lukas for continuing the turtle (and donkey!) research!

Coral Reef Team

• A busy day of surveys inside the lagoon (Bernards Knoll) and on the seaward side of Ile Poule.
• Ile Poule site had abundant reef fish populations.

Coral Health - Peros Banhos Reflection
• Past 3 days surveyed north, west & south
– Reef seems healthier in southern Peros Banhos
• But here at critical time
– Southern Peros Banhos sites showing early signs of bleaching
  • –  Very worrying as large amount of damage to coral likely
  • –  However, large numbers of juvenile corals on reef that appear less affected – so potential good recovery

Lagoonal twilight zone reefs

• Continued twilight reef exploration (deeper than 30m) with the ROV in Peros Banhos lagoon:
  • –  Interesting mix of corals and large fleshy algae not seen on shallow reefs
  • –  3 grey & 1 black-tip reef sharks hanging out under VAVA II
  • –  ‘Flattened’ corals adapted to deep reefs

Tagging and Array team

All hydrophones (except one which will be done early tomorrow) in Peros Banhos serviced
Great achievement by the Array Team and a huge amount of work!

Tagging team
• An exciting and very busy day for the tagging team:
  • –  13 sharks tagged (grey reef sharks and silvertips)
  • –  First camera tag deployed on grey reef shark
  • –  First new generation tag deployed on grey reef shark

New Generation Pop Up Satellite Tag on Grey Reef Shark

A stunning end to another busy and productive day. Thanks everyone! 

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