Sargassum Accumulations on Caribbean Beaches

Over the last 8 years or so, many Caribbean Islands have been challenged by massive Sargassum algae accumulations on beaches (a Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute fact sheet here, and a high resolution link to the poster here). These accumulations may have many deleterious effects on species that utilize beach habitat, including for nesting turtles. See for instance

By | 2018-05-07T10:30:51+00:00 May 7th, 2018|Categories: Beaches, Sargassum, Turtles, Uncategorized|1 Comment

New Lionfish Invasion Updates

A note from Dr. Mark Hixon (pasted below) updating his lab’s lionfish research. In addition to the papers he highlights, there are are also some interesting findings regarding lionfish parasite release in the invaded range and how lionfish may disrupt fish cleaning stations.

“Now that my lab’s lionfish research is winding-down, I’ve finally updated our lionfish invasion web […]

By | 2018-04-30T12:40:32+00:00 April 30th, 2018|Categories: conservation, Fish, Invasive Species, lionfish, parasites|0 Comments

Regional Lionfish Diet Compilation

Here is a recent paper on lionfish prey compiled at a regional scale. The Abstract is pretty straight forward, so I will just paste that below. I think the key sentence is the last. Since lionfish are such generalist predators, their trophic role will vary substantially among regions, islands, ecosystems and individual habitats. My opinion remains the dire predictions […]

By | 2018-04-21T14:49:29+00:00 April 21st, 2018|Categories: Invasive Species, lionfish|0 Comments

Pufferfish Here, Pufferfish There

We have posted some natural history observations on the checkered puffer before (see here and here and here), and now the scientific paper on their dietary habitats has been published (here). We think this species is a plays a much under-appreciated role in nearshore ecosystems of The Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean. They are ubiquitous in shallow […]

By | 2018-03-22T08:54:31+00:00 March 22nd, 2018|Categories: Fish, Mangroves and Creeks|0 Comments

Dear Sponge – I Am Breaking Up With You

To help us understand the complexities of nature, we often use simple classifications to help wrap our minds various intricacies. Think about how we classify species interactions: predation, mutualisms, parasitisms, commensalisms, etc. Simple. But complications linger in the background. Former NCSU PhD student Stephanie Archer (along with current student Enie Hensel) demonstrated one such complexity in a recent study (full […]

By | 2018-03-18T11:20:09+00:00 March 18th, 2018|Categories: Featured, seagrass, sponge|0 Comments

Global Evaluation of Shark Sanctuaries

An interesting recent paper evaluating the efficacy of shark sanctuaries, including in The Bahamas. The paper is a little long, but easily accessible. It is straight forward to scroll through sections to find items of most interest (e.g., human uses or conservation awareness). The full paper summary pasted below.

Due to well-documented declines in many shark populations there is increasing […]

By | 2018-03-18T10:28:12+00:00 March 18th, 2018|Categories: Endangered species, marine protected areas, sharks|0 Comments

Plastic Gives Coral Gangrene

Well at least a coral analog of gangrene. We posted this week on a push to ban plastic bags in The Bahamas, and this is one reason why. This article describes a recent paper in Science that discusses the global plague of coral disease driven by plastics.

By | 2018-01-25T21:06:47+00:00 January 25th, 2018|Categories: Coral, Disease|0 Comments