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26.8.16

ICOSMAP conference


This week two TRACC scientists, Thomas Gibson and Kit Wui Sien, went to the


International Conference of Oceanography & Sustainable Marine Production (ICOSMaP) 2016

This was hosted by the Marine Science Department at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) in Kuantan, Pahang, from 23rd to 26th August 2016.

Kit presented his work on step-reef construction techniques and Tom described recruitment to new reefs.
Tracc also showcased our data on the Mabul Shark Fishery (2014)(PDF)
and the Community Coral Planting project (2014-16)(PDF) which is funded by the GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) implemented by UNDP.

Link here to the abstracts, the posters and the manuscripts.
 
  


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If you want to help with any marine conservation activity, please 
check our website http://tracc.org or e-mail info@tracc-borneo.org 
For more updates on TRACC check out our Facebook, Twitter or Google +

TRACC has opportunities for scientists, media or social science students




Reef conservation would not be possible without generous financial support from
GEF /SGP for Malaysia who are helping our community activities and coralreefcare.com who generously provided materials to build the new reefs.



If visits to Tracc are not possible then please consider financial support and follow our projects on Facebook.




25.8.16

Destruction of a reef

TRACC sometimes goes to Kapucan to do a hard coral collection.   There is no shortage of broken coral suitable for replanting,
Easy to collect coral fragments from a smashed reef

When I was here in 2012/2013 this area was beautiful, there were the occasional bomb craters but they were not common. Now although there are still nice areas it have been blasted to bits.








The only good thing is that the corals we rescued will live
and grow on a protected reef.
Wr dove with 50+ year old hard corals which would weigh 200kg+ out of the water laying broken and lifeless on the sea bed so 1 ignorant individual could make an easy days money, it's heart breaking when you see this going on, because there are people like this all over the world, e.g. cutting down thousands of acres of rainforest in South America and Borneo Indonesia. Destroying coral reefs in the South China Sea, shark finning in Indonesian waters that has decimated shark populations and it goes on.


Paul Fadden 26-aug 2016 


The reef before was beautiful with amazing corals.  Now there are still small undamaged reef patches but there are no fish.  the blast fishing kills even the tiny fish so even the good coral is barren and lifeless. 



compare most of the reef now - below with the undamaged patches -  right,

Our other visits to damaged reefs are equally Heartbreaking.

If you want to help with any marine conservation activity, please 
check our website http://tracc.org or e-mail info@tracc-borneo.org 


For more updates on TRACC check out our Facebook, Twitter or Google +




Reef conservation would not be possible without generous financial support from
GEF /SGP for Malaysia who are helping our community activities and coralreefcare.com who generously provided materials to build the new reefs.

24.8.16

Sunday Funday Backflips

It's not all work and no play! Sometimes Sunday-Funday means pleasure diving in new places. Sometimes it means doing backflips off the boat.



Sometimes it means making fun little videos.


Please wait for the video to load to check it out!

video   

If you want to help with any marine conservation activity, please 
check our website http://tracc.org or e-mail info@tracc-borneo.org 

For more updates on TRACC check out our Facebook, Twitter or Google +



Reef conservation would not be possible without generous financial support from
GEF /SGP for Malaysia who are helping our community activities and coralreefcare.com who generously provided materials to build the new reefs.


If visits to Tracc are not possible then please help with financial support and follow their projects on Facebook.

18.8.16

Drift dive on eastern plateau

Went for a fantastic drift dive this afternoon with Kit, along the eastern plateau. Most of the life is between 20 - 25m. I'm still blown away by the diversity of life here. I saw my first Clown trigger and titan trigger fish of the trip, as well as a young green turtle, a blue ribbon eel, fully in view, baramundi, travalie, fusiliers, a large school of bump head parrot fish swimming and grazing on coral within feet. As well as countless other species I can't remember.
Paul Fadden (facebook)

15.8.16

Big Fish Surveys

I have been a volunteer and science intern at TRACC for just over two months and the journey has been amazing. The work and effort that TRACC has put into conserving and rehabilitating the marine creatures has shown a significant difference since they first started. There are many conservation projects that TRACC does but one of my favourites is the large fish survey. 

Plectropomus are indicative of healthy reef.
The very first large fish survey was done in 2011 when TRACC first arrived on Pom Pom Island and the fish are still being surveyed and added as data. The reason for this is because we want to know if the coral restoration and artificial reefs are attracting fishes. According to the data, there has been a drastic increase in the number of large fishes since 2011.

Before my first large fish survey, Tom, the senior science officer, made sure that we knew how to identify the large fish families such as sharks, rays, triggerfish, groupers, sweetlips etc. As soon as we'd gone through the fish identification, we jumped into the water right away. On that very first fish survey dive, I had trouble identifying all the different types of large fishes but Tom guided and made sure I improved at identifying the large fishes. Thanks to him, by the time I'd done 3 fish surveys, I felt like a pro! Now, after weeks of surveying, I am taking over and leading the fish survey with new volunteers that are in TRACC.

I personally think that a fish survey is like a treasure hunt. Every large fish that we find is like finding gold! And stingrays are like finding platinum! One of my favourite fish surveys was when we saw three eagle rays in one survey and one of them swam right over our heads. That was one of the best dives I've ever had; not just to see an eagle ray but also to see it swimming so close.

Bolbometopon also need healthy coral
Another great fish survey experience was when I saw my first bumphead parrotfish. Those parrotfishes were about a meter long and had teeth that were so big they looked like they were wearing hockey gum guards. They seemed intimidating but they are one of the gentlest creatures I've ever met. During my survey, 13 of them parrotfishes were eating in a land full of corals. Somehow they really reminded me of a herd of cows.


These are only some of the many things I've experienced during my science internship and I'm only just beginning. Through diving and fish surveying, the ocean never fails to surprise me. I am learning new things about the ocean everyday and there is never a dull moment. I am definitely looking forward to getting on with the next fish survey and I will be sure to go in to the water with an expectant heart, knowing that in every fish survey that I do, I will be in awe.

Natalie surveying for big-fish at TRACC

If you want to help with any marine conservation activity, please 
check our website http://tracc.org or e-mail info@tracc-borneo.org 


For more updates on TRACC check out our Facebook, Twitter or Google +



Reef conservation would not be possible without generous financial support from
GEF /SGP for Malaysia who are helping our community activities and coralreefcare.com who generously provided materials to build the new reefs.


If visits to Tracc are not possible then please help with financial support and follow their projects on Facebook.


11.8.16

Fantastic 2016 marine science A level results.

Tracc are very proud to announce our 2016 A-level results! 3 A*, 2 A and 3 B!! All our candidates worked exceptionally hard and should be very pleased with themselves. We certainly are. Well Done Everyone!!
 
 More info on the course and how we have achieved amazing results for several years. 

marine-science-course-a-level-9693

Photos of  the practical classes,
 



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If you want to help with any marine conservation activity, please 
check our website http://tracc.org or e-mail info@tracc-borneo.org 


For more updates on TRACC check out our Facebook, Twitter or Google +



Reef conservation would not be possible without generous financial support from
GEF /SGP for Malaysia who are helping our community activities and coralreefcare.com who generously provided materials to build the new reefs.


If visits to Tracc are not possible then please help with financial support and follow their projects on Facebook.

10.8.16

Creature Feature - The Moray Eel

Photo by Basil Bohn
A constant creature of the TRACC house reef the moray eel is often hidden and often seen. Equipped with pharyngeal jaws, the moray is an imposing predator to the crustaceans, fish, and invertebrates that it seeks as a meal.  First it lays in wait, peeking its head from its burrow and sneakily scanning the reef. When spotted it strikes, grasping its prey whole and alive with its first set of outer jaws. Next, it extends its inner jaws, the pharyngeal jaws, to pull its prey down its throat and into its belly, still alive, still whole.


Yet, this beady eyed, and bead spotted eel is not at all harmful to humans, preferring to hide from their presence rather than be seen. The moray has also been observed to collaborate with one of its fellow reef dwellers - the coral grouper. Inhabiting different niches, burrows vs. open reef habitat, the coral grouper lives in the open reef water and has no access to the creatures that choose to hide in the crevices of coral, the grouper in turn struggles to catch creatures quickly darting to and fro. Thus this unlikely pair will sometimes team up, the grouper corralling creatures near the moray burrow, while the moray flushes creatures out of nooks and crevices of its home. Trapped from shelter on both sides, the creatures have no escape and the groupers and morays both get an easy meal.

Sometimes seen hidden in the cracks of the step reef, or twisted and wrapped around the nooks and crannies of the big brain corals scattered around Pom-Pom Island. The moray resembles a snake from the ages, an underwater serpent of the Slytherin, and something superb to be seen. 

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If you want to help with any marine conservation activity, please 
check our website http://tracc.org or e-mail info@tracc-borneo.org 


For more updates on TRACC check out our Facebook, Twitter or Google +



Reef conservation would not be possible without generous financial support from
GEF /SGP for Malaysia who are helping our community activities and coralreefcare.com who generously provided materials to build the new reefs.


If visits to Tracc are not possible then please help with financial support and follow their projects on Facebook.
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