Thursday, 12 March 2015

Marine Science A Level Fisheries Fieldwork

Parrot fish from coral reef fisheries
The Marine Science A level class had a lot of fun and learnt a lot by being in the environment during fieldtrips.  The students and staff from TRACC had lots of fun doing many practicals in mangroves, rocky shores and underwater on coral reefs. These are some of the images from the Fisheries fieldwork done by the 2015 Marine Science A level class.

UPDATE
One of our students was the Best in the world. What an honour. Congratulations



Huge diversity of fish species

Liz studying a guitarshark

Sorting a purse seine catch
from left - Liz, Gon, Tom, Matti, Kit and Sonny



Monday, 2 March 2015

Coral planting on step reefs to repair sloping rubble reefs

TRACC coral biscuits planted by volunteer and gap year divers growing on step reefs, pom pom island, semporna, proactive marine conservation
The step reefs with coral biscuits to repair sloping coral reefs
were built by the Kalapuan community
as part of the TRACC SGP/GEF project
The Tracc SGP/GEF coral planting project has been busy building step reefs to hold the biscuits and repair sloping rubble reefs.  Pom Pom Island and many of the reefs in the Semporna district have a very steep slope of rubble.  The reef crest was blasted by bomb fishers in the past and now all that is left is a slope of coral fragments.  These are unstable and move gradually down the slope.  Most larval corals which settle are abraded off or smothered by the sand as the rubble rolls down the slope.


The community of Kalapuan island has been building our complex step reefs during 2014.  Made of cement mortar with two rows of bottles, the back row of bottles is taller than the front.  The undersurface during manufacture or the top surface after positioning has indentations which correpond exactly with the shape and size of our coral biscuits in the nursery.


TRACC coral biscuits planted by volunteer and gap year divers for proactive marine conservation, growing on step reefs, pom pom island, semporna, Sabah
The step reefs with coral biscuits have a variety of coral species
to increase diversity of the repaired coral reefs.
To date (May 2015), the community has built slightly over 250 of the steps which will be sufficint to make many cluster or auditorium reefs and will provide long term protection for nearly 2000 coral biscuits from our coral nursery.
Millipora coral spreading from the
coral biscuit across the step reef.

Pocillopora coral growing from a fragment
in a biscuit into a healthy coral
supported by a step reef

Porites coral has completely overgrown
the original biscuit

Porites coral has completely
covered the original biscuit