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Bonefish Flats Group Research Update

April 30, 2012

A couple weeks ago the Bonefish Flats group took a trip to Page Creek in order to gather information about the habitat that Bonefish live in.

The flat that we went to was surrounded by the ocean and land.  In the beginning of it the depth ranged from 0-3 feet, deeper into the flat it was only a foot deep.  Some fish populations included yellowtail snapper, schoolmaster fish.  There were also red mangroves all over.  Flats are generally shallow areas.  They are an abundance of mangroves and small fish that use the mangroves for protection.  Present in the mangroves are species such as small fish, echinoderms, Cassiopeia, etc.  In the flat that we went to the water varied from 0-3 feet.  The beginning of the flat was deepest, and then it got shallower.  In the flat we found yellow tail snapper, schoolmaster fish, blue crabs, etc.  There was sand and turtle grass on the floor.  When we went there it was low tide and the sun was high in the sky.  This caused for the water to be much warmer than if the sun was not out and it was high tide because the more water there is the more energy it takes to heat it up.  It was important for us to take a trip to the flat and observe it because this is the habitat for Bonefish.

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We went into the flats to have hands on experience with our studies. We went into the field to collect, observe, and tag Bonefish to have a better idea of where we should take out studies. It’s evident that global climate change is negatively impacting a variety of marine species. Statistics have shown that these climate changes have had a harsh impact on not only fishes but fisheries and varying fish distribution will strongly impact humans who rely on these stocks. Climate effects range in marine life from the oxygen consumptions in fish to changing migrational patterns. Even relatively small increases on the atmospheric temperature will raise the temperature of the ocean. It is our job to test the limits of these marine species and gauge as climate change progresses how certain conditions may affect the physiology and ecology of these species. It is important that we as researchers familiarize ourselves with past studies regarding the topic so we can take our research in the most efficient and logical direction. We as a team have to work together to gauge how varying climate change may affect Bonefish populations so we can inform the public.

After going to Page Creek we are much more prepared and have a better sense of what we need to take into account when dealing with Bonefish.

One Comment leave one →
  1. kathleen leddy permalink
    April 30, 2012 9:44 am

    listened to a segment on NPR today about mangroves as nesting grounds for spawning fish and depletion of mangroves worldwide. carbon credits are now available on international scale for countries to trade carbon emissions for mangrove planting and restoration in indonesia. impacts there are from development, using mangrove wood as resource (fuel), and sea level rise. love reading about your research projects!!! you all are on to something big.

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