Showing posts from September, 2009

From Royal Gazette: Expert warns against eating sickly fish

Expert warns against eating sickly fish

By Ruth O'Kelly-Lynch
Fish Pathologist Dr. Wolfgang Vogelbein at a press conference about recent fish die-offs. Photo: Mark Tatem An overseas fish expert yesterday called the recent fish die-off concerning. But he urged people to use common sense when it came to eating fish, saying the majority of those caught are safe. Wolfgang Vogelbein is a highly regarded fish pathologist and professor of marine science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the College of William and Mary. Dr. Vogelbein said: "It's always the big question, 'are the fish safe to eat?' I think common sense should be used. People who fish know what a healthy fish looks like. "Those are safe to eat. But a fish which has ulcers on it [such as a lack of scales and blood on the skin] should not be." He added that he enjoyed rockfish for lunch yesterday. But he said the die-off…

Offshore Coral Husbandry for Research and Conservation Action

Two coral racks located in 9-m depth, holding 20 corals each.

This close-up photo shows the wire and bar used to make the racks,
and some of the corals we are studying.

BREAM researcher Jessie Hallett is deploying juvenile corals
epoxyed to small tiles on this coral rack. Once the corals are held
on the racks for a short period to recover, they will be used in
an experiment on a nearby reef.

BREAM has built and deployed mesh racks for holding reef corals, out at our research area in the North Lagoon. We are using these racks for two reasons: (1) to carry out experiments on coral growth under different environmental and experimental conditions, and (2) to use as "holding pens" for corals in need of relocation after ship groundings, shoreline development or other human activities. Corals grow better when water flow is un-impeded, and corals placed on the racks 2 months ago seem very healthy thus far.

Breaking News: Govt. looking into cause of dead fish

Royal Gazette: September 15. 2009 01:56PM

Residents are being advised not to panic over the numbers of dead fish that have washed up on Bermuda’s shores in recent weeks.

Hundreds of e-mails have been circulated by persons concerned about the die-off, with many warning against eating local fish.

Government is to hold a press conference today, however Environmental Protection director Fred Ming told The Royal Gazette: “I think it would be wise not to eat any fish that looks like it is lethargic [unresponsive] or has lesions or any signs on the body of damage. Do not eat them because we don't know what's involved.”

Dr. Ming said people should be cautious, but there is no need to panic. At this point, he doesn't discourage anyone from swimming or fishing.

“We don’t know what is causing this and what we have done is assign a team of scientists, technicians and so forth representing the department, conservation services and BIOS. We have been out on one outing and we will send peopl…

BREAM team prepares for 60 ft reef surveys

Rob Fisher setting up a transect line on Bermuda's forereef terrace

A fundamental impediment to marine resource management in Bermuda is the lack of critical baseline data of the benthic and fish populations present across fore-reef habitats, and within current marine protected areas of the Bermuda Platform. These reef habitats are large, covering over 300 sq. km., and of global significance as preliminary surveys indicate that the Bermuda fore-reef contains some of the healthiest coral and herbivorous fish assemblages remaining in the Western Atlantic.

As part of the BREAM mandate, and with the BZS research vessel "Endurance" and with financial assistance from the Department of Conservation Services (link), the Atlantic Conservation Partnership, and the Overseas Territories Environment Programme (link), we are going to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the entire fore-reef habitat at 10-m depth intervals across 3 depth zones, and of all spatially-bounded managed …