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And another: ‘Have Scientists Been Overestimating our Toll on Reef Sharks?’

Shark populations are declining worldwide and  shark awareness and conservation is necessary. However, some interesting news from a recently published paper suggests that we might be overestimating the density of sharks required on reefs to resemble pristine reefs. This is very exciting, as shark researchers and conservationists’ goals are now potentially more realistic. Read more in this short (650 words, […]

By |March 30th, 2017|Categories: conservation, Overfishing, sharks|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Fish pee on coral reefs in the Caribbean makes Canadian Broadcasting Company

An interview I did a few months ago for Quarks and Quirks on CBC radio recently aired.  Yes, of course, it is more about fish pee, but I thought I would post it all the same.  It is pretty funny. Scroll down a bit for the actual interview.

What Fish are Left in the Caribbean?

Cool new study by John Bruno’s lab at the University of North Carolina. They surveyed sites across the Caribbean region and use these data to project back to how many fish there used to be before the fishing pressure. Here is a video summary of the paper from the authors, including footage from The Bahamas. Also, some popular press […]

By |March 2nd, 2017|Categories: Overfishing, sharks|0 Comments

Great news for the world’s marine mammals

I am always excited to report positive news (reported at length here).  Starting in the new year, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will require countries exporting seafood to the United States to demonstrate that their fisheries comply with the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).  The US is the world’s largest seafood importer and the MMPA is among […]

By |December 20th, 2016|Categories: Current Events, Endangered species, Marine Mammals, Overfishing, Policy|1 Comment

Recent work on Nassau Grouper spawning aggregations asks us to rethink current fishing regulations

An exciting new publication just came out helping us better understand Nassau grouper populations in The Bahamas (article here). Using acoustic telemetry data, Dr. Craig Dahlgren and others recorded the movements of different sized Nassau grouper to examine when and where individuals would migrate to spawning aggregations. They found that individuals did not migrate to aggregation sites until they were 54 cm in total body length, suggesting a new and increased minimum size limit for fishing regulations on Nassau grouper. To illustrate, current Bahamian regulation permits a minimum catch size of 3 lbs (1.36 kg), which in our own work on Nassau grouper, we have found individuals to weigh over this amount  at 43 cm, ~10 cm less than their potential size of maturation. Furthermore, their movement data also suggests that individuals migrating for the first time were slower than ‘seasoned’ individuals but their swimming speeds were similar on their return home suggesting migration movement behaviors may be learned.
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Hilarious new educational film on our research in Haiti – in Haitian Creole

We have been working with Loggerhead Productions for the past few years on creating films and documentaries about our work in Haiti.  Recently Matt just finished a new education film on our local work in Haiti that we will be distributing around to schools and communities in the area where we are working around Ile A Vache, Haiti.

Fishing reduces fish pee on coral reefs

Yup, more about fish pee.  As a follow-up to work we have been conducting on the importance of fish excretion (pee) for coastal tropic ecosystems, we describe in a recent study how fishing pressure is reducing this source of nutrients by nearly half on coral reefs across the broader Caribbean. This study highlights an alternative way in which human […]

World squid and octopus populations on a rise

Finally some good news.  With all the drastic changes that are occurring in the worlds oceans, there are clear winners and losers.  A recent article has provided definitive proof that all cephalopods, a group that includes octopus, squid, and cuttlefish, are clear winners. Researchers concluded that cephalopods from New England to Japan have boomed since the 1950s.  What is interesting […]

By |July 29th, 2016|Categories: Climate Change, Current Events, Food, Global change, Overfishing|0 Comments

Lessons from the International Coral Reef Symposium: “We Must Reduce Carbon Emissions”

Last week some 3000 coral reef scientists, including the world’s foremost leaders in all aspects of coral reef ecosystems, met in Honolulu to discuss the fate of coral reefs.  The goal of this convention, which is held every four years, was to focus on positive action towards improving reef ecosystems. Unfortunately, when studying coral reefs it is difficult to be optimistic. […]

New Reefs Are Born: ampil pipi poisson

As an extension of our on-going research in Haiti, we recently kicked off a new artificial reef project.  Working with local fishers, we have constructed two clusters of artificial reefs, one of which the locals will actively use for harvesting fishes and the other that they will collectively protect from fishing. Building on what we have learned from other projects, we have chosen to […]

By |June 18th, 2016|Categories: Artificial Reefs, Education, Featured, Fish, Haiti, Overfishing, seagrass|0 Comments