The sun just dipped below the horizon at 5:37. As we approach winter solstice, the days do indeed continue to grow shorter. While many folks in Alaska or Sweden will watch the sun pass through the sky without setting on June 21st, we will be celebrating the shortest day of the year.
The pirogue that the Vezo people use is a hand-made, all purpose transportation vessel. Several groups of volunteers spent from about 6:30am until roughly sunset, in two hour intervals, watching for incoming pirogues to monitor the fish catch. This is a survey Blue Ventures is undertaking to assess what species are being caught, how much and with what style fishing technique. Additional surveys volunteers will conduct include juvenile fish counts in the Mangroves, seashell and seagrass inventory, shark fishing monitoring, more Baobab mapping, vegetation analysis of Nosy Hoa (a very nearby sand cay) and snorkel mapping. All of these projects are in addition to the current fish and benthic surveys already being conducted
during the dives.
Much of the information being gathered is base-line data, meaning that it has never been collected before and can be used to assess health of the ecosystem over time. This information is vitally important to help establish the MPA (Marine Protected Area) Blue Ventures hoping for.
It is exciting and challenging work that hopefully everyone can learn and benefit from.