Sunday, May 8, 2016

30m net removed from Kusu Island (8 May 2016)

This is our first encounter with a net on Kusu Island.
The net was laid at the 'mouth' of a swimming lagoon that is full of corals. There are rich reefs at the mouth facing the sea as well.

Fortunately, the net was only about 30m long. So just a few of us could easily dismantle the net.
Nets don't just trap fishes but can also damage corals and other immobile animals such as sea anemones. The net was made of monofilament, and had a mesh size of about 4cm diagonally.
As the tide was turning, we pulled the net up to high shore, being careful not to snag corals.
On the high shore, we could take more time to remove the live crabs.
Some of the fishes trapped in the net. All were dead and some were already half eaten. In addition, there were a few crabs trapped in the net, all alive. We released them.

The net was laid across this lagoon opening (red line), which measures about 30m on Google Earth.
We are on alert for coral bleaching on our reefs. Dr Karenne Tun just revealed on facebook 7 May that "We just entered Bleaching Alert Level 2. The rise from Bleaching Warning to Bleaching Alert 1 and 2 were rapid. 2010 paled in comparison."
This is the latest on the NOAA Coral Reef Watch site.
Alert Level 2 is the highest level of alert.

Our corals and the animals that depend on them are currently under stress from high temperatures. We should give them a break, especially during this period, by not doing harmful things like laying nets.

More about our survey of Kusu Island.

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