Connect with us
background

News

Montserrat marine life on the mend, says Coral Cay Conservation

Published

on

Montserrat

Coral Cay Conservation Explore Montserrat’s Marine Exclusion Zone For The First Time In Nearly Two Decades

MontserratCoral Cay Conservation (CCC) has been operating a ridge to reef conservation project on the Caribbean Island of Montserrat since May 2013.  The work that has been done has been focused on the north of the island as the south has been designated an exclusion zone since the Soufrière Hills volcanic eruptions in 1995.

MontserratOn the 30th October CCC’s first team of divers ventured down to explore the exclusion zone after receiving special permission to explore the reefs from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory and Royal Montserrat Police Force.  This was an incredible opportunity to get the first glimpses of a reef that hasn’t been dived for nearly two decades.  The teams headed southeast of Bransby Point and conducted 4 separate dives.

Half of the teams encountered patch reefs during the dives, and what they saw was very encouraging for the state of the reefs around Montserrat.

MontserratNumerous fish spread over 22 families were recorded with sightings of commercially important Groupers and Barracuda as well as Garden Eels, Morays and Stingrays. There were also two large and very curious Almaco Jacks (Seriola rivoliana) spotted by CCC divers, and even a Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) was spotted.

In addition to the fish there were a range of colourful sponges  and numerous colonies of hard coral seen on the reefs, with several boulders of vulnerable Elliptical Star Coral (Dichocoenia stokesii) and various other star corals (Montastraea spp.) being recorded, too.

MontserratEncouragingly, no rubbish or coral damage was seen on the reef; however, there were several colonies of hard coral which had undergone bleaching.

MontserratThere was also a good range of invertebrate species present, including Long Spined Sea Urchins, numerous Gorgonians, Collector Urchins, Cushion Stars, Basket Stars and Queen Conch as well as a few Magnificent Urchins (Astropyga magnifica) on the beds of Midrib Seagrass (Halophila baillonis) surrounding the patches of reef.

Both of the dive teams who were deployed further away from the water off shore from the remnants of the pyroclastic flows in Plymouth encountered reef, while those deployed further southeast saw mostly seagrass and sand on the seabed.

CCC divers reported an exciting day’s diving which was very rewarding for everyone involved.  With a few more exploratory dives planned, CCC should hopefully soon be able to conduct surveys around the south side of the island to complement the ongoing surveys on Montserrat.

To find out how you could get involved in the project, visit www.coralcay.org.

Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

Take an immersive dive below the waves off the Welsh coast using 360 VR: Common Spider Crab (Watch Video)

Published

on

A week-long series from Jake Davies…

Below the waves off the Welsh coast, there are a range of species and habitats that can be seen. However, you don’t have to venture too far from the shore to see them or don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Using 360 videos provides an immersive feeling of being below the water and encountering many species and habitats from diving one of the most important habitats and species that aren’t often seen whilst diving. For more of an experience of being below the waves, the VR videos can be viewed using a VR headset.

Take a VR dive just off the shore and explore what can be found within the shallow waters of a sandy beach. Fish can be founding cruising amongst the seaweed and numerous crustacean (Crabs, lobster, prawns, shrimps) species can be found walking around the seafloor. Common Spider Crabs (Maja brachydactyla) are one of the largest crabs species found along the coast and during the early summer, they aggregate in large numbers to moult which allows them to grow.


Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

Continue Reading

Dive Training Blogs

Join Me On My Commute To Scuba Diving Key Largo! (Watch Video)

Published

on

Sunrise was so beautiful the other morning, I wanted to take a time lapse of my drive from home in South Miami to Key Largo before morning dives with Horizon Divers.

I thought you might enjoy taking the ride with me! Silly I know! But here’s 2 minutes of chill!

D.S.D.O,

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

More Less

Instagram Feed

Popular