Bazaruto Exploration & Mapping

April 29, 2018 | Howard Rickard

The BCSS team has spent over 1000 hours non-stop mapping & monitoring the BANP area to have an initial idea of where to conduct their major research programs.

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When new research programs start it is fundamental to know where they should be conducted, under which conditions and what are the main aspects that could make them fail. To this end, exploration & mapping are mandatory or simply spending time in the ocean to feel the pulse of the area, understand tidal dynamics, follow animal movements or simply get familiar with the place.

Between September 2017 and April 2018 the BCSS team snorkelled, dive, patrolled, navigated, and surveyed with drones most of the Bazaruto Archipelago to map where BCSS programs will take place.

Namely, the team has been searching adequate locations to install the renowned Ocean Observatory, which consists of 50 kg weight structures with cameras and chemistry sensors that will take the pulse of the ocean every hour. In this way, BCSS and the scientific community will be able to understand processes that are as critical as climate change dynamics, animal’s migrations, coral reef growth as well as film marine life with HD cameras.

During April 2018 a huge amount of time was devoted to follow large animals such as bull sharks for a tagging and migration project, but at the same time the team deployed underwater cameras to monitor the seabed. The BANP pelagic waters are pretty quiet from January to April but from April onwards they start teeming with bait balls and predators.