Megafauna & Tagging

April 2, 2018 | Howard Rickard

To the north there are 5 and 6-mile reefs, with further 12 and 25-mile reefs nearby. Many deep-water zones with fringing coral reef make the area a paradise for ocean predators and deep-sea divers. Deep water connecting directly to the islands provides nutrient-rich waters, attracting ocean creatures and game fish including black/blue/striped marlin, sailfish, yellowfin […]

To the north there are 5 and 6-mile reefs, with further 12 and 25-mile reefs nearby. Many deep-water zones with fringing coral reef make the area a paradise for ocean predators and deep-sea divers.

Deep water connecting directly to the islands provides nutrient-rich waters, attracting ocean creatures and game fish including black/blue/striped marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, bull/tiger sharks, wahoo, king mackerel, great trevally, manta rays, whale sharks and humpback whales during their annual migration. The calmer inshore waters and seagrass meadows are home to the only West Indian Ocean dugong populations, with fewer than 250 individuals remaining.

At BCSS work on large animals is in direct cooperation with other organizations, commissioning individuals and universities. Due to the long range and deep oceanic seabed pelagic animals use, collaborations at regional and international level are conducted to correctly target migration, management and protection. Currently, BCSS has ongoing work with bull and tiger sharks as well as black marlin using acoustic and satellite tagging initiatives to track their movements. The team also uses towing cameras behind boats to monitor behavior and interaction, along with camera-mounted sensors. In combination with the Multiple Ecosystem Time-Series and the Underwater Observatory, BCSS produces data that can later be coupled with researches on these large animals.