Entries in #research (7)


Manatees And Diving: A Busy Week In Caye  Caulker

This week we welcome four new volunteers to the project. Two of them were here to work on our Manatee Conservation Programme and two came for the Marine Conservation and Diving. This means that we spent a lot of time in the water, and a lot of time on the boat.

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Grass Is Always Bluer On The Other  Tide

I love grass. People give me the weirdest look when I tell them I study seagrass, they love the fact that I study the manatees, but very very rarely will anyone say ‘oh very cool, seagrass must be interesting!’

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Saving The World... One Manatee At A  Time

Belize is a small beautiful country nuzzled right between Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. The worlds second largest reef runs along the country.

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Lionfish in  Belize

Lionfish has been said to be one of the most aggressively invasive species on the planet.

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Conch Season 

Time for a country wide conch survey! Find out about the importance of this and how our team have been getting involved..

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Arriving in Caye Caulker in time for LobsterFest

It was a long journey to get here but it was worth it. I arrived at Frontier Belize on Monday and have already seen four manatees and a whole lot of nurse sharks while snorkelling and scuba diving.

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First Thoughts As The New Assistant Research Officer 

My name is Alex Sullivan and I am the new Assistant Research Officer here in Belize. I arrived in Caye Caulker just less than a week ago, there is a lot of stuff still yet to get used to but I am looking forward to being a part of the great environmental conservation efforts which are underway here in Belize.

After an awesome and windy boat ride from Belize City, my first sights of Caye Caulker were of beautifully colourful buildings,  a white sand shore and blissfully turquoise sea. It was surreal to think that this beautiful place was going to be my home for the next six months.

Our base-camp located on the northside of Caye Caulker is not remote enough to feel totally isolated (there is the occasional boat going-by), but it is remote enough to be living closely with nature. Base-camp is basic, with a simple stove, outhouse, limited electricity, two resident chickens and no internet. Yet, you can still get phone signal which some may find handy.

Although the utilities at base are simple, I have managed to eat some of the best food I have had in a long-time, including fried pancakes with bananas and honey for breakfast, as well as breaded fish (freshly caught) with delicious homemade sweet potato fries, thanks to Holly our project coordinator and on-site masterchef. The simplicity of base-life will take a while to get used to, but with each passing day it is beginning to feel more and more like home.

The Caye Caulken people appear to be at the forefront of conservation work initiatives on the Mesoamerican barrier reef system, and I have noticed many novel signposts encouraging locals and tourists to be good to the environment and it will be good to you. Our environmental aims and objectives are closely aligned with that of the Belizean Fisheries department, whom we provide important environmental data on the health of the reef, seagrass beds and mangroves. This data hopefully provides a quantitative insight on the viability of current conservation efforts such as the allotted conservation zone and preservation zone.

I am looking forward to helping Holly develop our important survey work and important seagrass monitoring programme, which will provide  crucial data on the health of seagrass beds and allow us to compare the effects of anthropogenic development on seagrass proliferation and health. We are also in the midst of working with locals in the forthcoming island-wide invasive lionfish derby, where we hope to do a presentation and accompanying dissection for the locals.

It is currently a very busy and exciting time for Frontier Belize and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

By Alex Sullivan - Assistant Research Officer

Find out more about the Belize Marine Conservation & Diving project.

Check out what volunteers in Belize are up to right now!