Join Lad Akins, Andy Dehart, Ned and Anna DeLoach and Chris Flook for a week of hands on lionfish research diving in Nassau, Bahamas
Over the past 16 months, REEF has led the charge in gathering research data on the recently established lionfish populations in the Bahamas. Working with dive operators Stuart Cove and Bruce Purdy to gather much needed data on age/growth, reproduction, prey preferences, behavior habitat preferences and population increases, REEF volunteers have collected over 1,200 lionfish for NOAA and Bahamian researchers. Data suggest a rapidly increasing population that reproduces regularly throughout the year and has few natural predators. This week-long collecting project will fill the final gap in a year-round study and enable completion of data analysis.
The focus of the week will be to document presence/absence of lionfish at specific sites near the west end of New Providence Island (Nassau), Bahamas. Working as part of a team, the divers will search for and collect previously tagged lionfish, collect and tag new specimens, document abundance of native reef fish at lionfish sites, help collect samples of lionfish for dissection to determine prey and reproduction, and learn about invasive species issues. Daily morning dives at Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas will be followed by hands on afternoon dissections, lectures and discussions. Andy Dehart, General Manager of the National Aquarium in Washington DC, Stephanie Green, researcher at Simon Fraser University, and Lad Akins, Director of Special Projects at REEF, will all bring their perspectives and expertise to the project and be integral parts of the lionfish team.
The project cost is $914.00 per person double occupancy and includes hotel accommodations at the Orange Hill Beach Inn and five days of two tank morning dives. For more information or to book space, please contact Pam Christman at Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas at 800-879-9832 or Pam@stuartcove.com. For more info on REEF’s lionfish work, contact Lad Akins (Lad@reef.org) or (305) 942-7333.