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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reef data collection in Punta Gruesa!

A week full of sun meant a week full of progress towards collecting actual scientific data for marine conservation, specifically for Amigos de Sian Ka'an, a NGO who's primary goal is to protect and preserve coastal and jungle areas in the Yucatan Peninsula. The data we collect is sent to Amigos of Sian Ka'an and then sent to government officials, with the hope to eventually create some sort of protection for coral reefs and mangrove habitats from the immense growth that is currently happening throughout the peninsula through no fish zones and national preserves. The work we are doing is applicable and worthwhile however, it is not exactly easy.

This week we began to start monitoring fish. The process is not terribly complex however, to do it well it takes practice and patience. We lay down 30 meters of measuring tape and record all fish located in a two square meter box in front of us. It is all timed and we are currently still just practicing; fine tuning our skills while being observed by a staff member, a pair of persons work out the kinks. We continue to practice. Hopefully soon we will be monitoring by ourselves and recording valuable information. A week in the water daily made the week seem like a day. Now we are moving onto week five with quite a bit of training ahead of us.