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Volunteer Blog by Kristy Benz

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    We are now three weeks into expedition 33, and I think it would be safe to say that the time has been largely devoted to one thing: fish. And I don’t mean eating fish. So much of our work on the coral reefs is based on the correct identification of fish species, and for this we must learn to recognize over 150 species. The manic studying which followed our arrival on sight slightly enveloped our lives. And yet, studying at Coco Beach is no dry act, pardon the pun. Underwater fish point-outs on the reef occurred almost daily, and our hours on land saw most people revising in hammocks, the sun beating down from above. We taught each other as well. Each individual was assigned a different fish family, and following meals we would put on a lively presentation for the others. We played fisharades. We heard of the antics of the wrasse family at their Christmas gatherings.

    What follows is an excerpt from one such presentation, detailing the six species of angelfish known to hang out around Andavadoaka.

    Enjoy, and be enlightened.

    The three-spot angelfish is yellow

    With blue lips like blueberry jell-o.

    He has three spots around his face

    And a black-tipped fin at his base.

    The semicircle has a greenish hue

    And is covered with spots the colour blue.

    His juvenile form is quite dark

    With blue and white curving marks.

    The many-spined angelfish is known

    For bright blue tips on his ventral zone.

    He has a dark patch behind hi eyes.

    At only four inches he is small in size.

    The ear-spot has a funky dace

    And an ear spot in an obvious place.

    His body is black with thin white lines

    And a yellow tail that is quite fine.

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