Snorkeling and Sharks

Hi everyone, my name is Lucy Lewis, and I’m a rising sophomore at Davidson College. I grew up on the coast in Savannah, Georgia and have always loved the water and all kinds of living things. Today is June 8th, and it was great to get back in the water for an urchin survey after a day in the classroom yesterday. This morning at 8:30, we went to the old barge for a 20 minute snorkel to record the number and types of urchins we saw.

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We split up into our usual teams of three and each went a different direction. Some teams found over a hundred urchins while others found few; it all depended on the area and the amount of suitable urchin habitat. Although there weren’t many urchins to be found in some spots, there are always plenty of exciting creatures to see. Some of the highlights of today were eagle rays, lobsters, barracudas, sea turtles and squid.P6080042.JPG

Unfortunately, not all of marine science is fun underwater time. After the snorkel, we worked on image analysis on CoralNet. My group is hoping to find out whether urchin abundance is correlated with abundance of a specific macroalgae.

After dinner, Claire gave us a talk on BRUVS, or baited remote underwater video systems. These are simple contraptions that hold a video camera and bait to attract sharks. The purpose is to find out more about which sharks are where and what they’re doing so that we can better manage environmentally and economically important endangered sharks. After the talk, we watched a shark documentary about the threats facing sharks and what people are doing to save them.

It’s been three days since our last dive, so we are all excited to go diving again tomorrow. We will do another urchin survey along with a fish survey.

Until next time!

Lucy Lewis, Davidson College

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