Dr. Craig Dahlgren led a team of local researchers within and around the North and South Marine Park on Andros Island to survey coral and fish species types and abundance as well as benthic habitats. Persons who participated in the trip were from the Department of Marine Resources, The Bahamas National Trust (BNT), Dolphin Cay Atlantis and Forfar field station. The purpose of the Andros trip was to collect data from along the Andros barrier reef that was not collected during data collection efforts done in March, April and July of this year.
While on Andros the team conducted surveys at 9 sites both in the North and south areas along the barrier reef. A large number of corals observed during this expedition were pale, partially bleached or completely bleached due to fluctuations in high sea water temperatures. A preliminary estimate of partially bleached, bleached or pale corals was over 70%. At each site surveyed, a total of 6-8 detailed fish transect surveys were conducted; 3-5 detailed benthic surveys; and 1-2 detailed coral surveys. The data collected during this trip and previous research trips will be used to develop an Andros Coral Reef Report Card that demonstrate the status of reef health on Andros…… So Stay tuned!