Saturday, April 16, 2016

Chagos 2016 - Day 12

Scientists from TRCC and GTOPP are at sea in the Indian Ocean with the Bertarelli Foundation's Chagos Archipelago Science Expedition 2016.  The daily reports are compiled by Dr. Heather Koldewey, Chief Scientist of the Expedition, and Dr. Barbara Block and Dr. Rob Dunbar from Stanford.

Day 12 highlights – 16 th April 2016 
Peros Banhos Atoll

Last day of fieldwork!

Further Salomon Highlights 15 th April

The Manta Team had a majestic day at Salomon – the taggers and
crew worked together to spot and tag 7 Mantas with pop-up
satellite tags, acoustic tags and camera tags. The satellite tags
range in duration from 180 to 365 days.

This manta did acrobatic feeding rolls while Robbie waited patiently to tag it

First manta tagged with a camera tag!

Thanks to the Vava II Salomon Manta Team!

Final fieldwork day for the team at 
Peros Banhos – and what a finale!

Coral Reef Team

The two sites surveyed today at Peros Banhos
had very high reef fish numbers and diversity

Coral disease

• Disease prevalence often increases
when corals are stressed

• Assessed the presence of coral diseases in the Chagos Archipelago

• Purple spot disease

• White band disease

'Reef of hope'

The final reef site at Moresby Island surveyed today
showed a very high number of younger corals from
several years and less bleaching than elsewhere. Local
oceanographic conditions may be a factor at this site.
Results will become clearer as data are analysed.

Tagging Team

Today was filled with rare tuna sights:
A small tuna, kawakawa (Euthynnus affini) jumping in the lagoon!
A dogtooth tuna was also seen on a dive – a first for Barb!
Ten sharks were tagged today

Species movements

• 58 receivers serviced and 33 new ones added

• 170,000 detections of 88 animals – 31 Grey Reefs, 22 Silvertips, 11 Mantas, 2 Nurse Sharks and 22 Bohar (fish)

• Two female Grey Reef Sharks were detected for the third year running!

• One of the Mantas made a 300nm round trip from Egmont, via Peros Banhos, Salomon, Speakers Bank and Victory Bank between June and November last year. It spent most of that time at the newly discovered ‘Manta Alley’ in Salomon Atoll.

A brilliant final Day! From the REEF & TAGGING TEAMS

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