Friday, December 5, 2014

King Crabtopus

By Chrispin


Photo by Michael Wittkowski
On the 1st of December, going down with a few other divers on one of our most beautiful reefs called Windmill Shallows, there sits a fairly old wreck to the left of that reef if the currents going down, called the Rum Runner.
As we approached the wreck, we all saw the strangest thing.
It was a king crab and an octopus in a scuffle, but the octopus seemed to be winning as the king crab was defenseless under the strong master lock of the octopus. We all felt sorry for it but were also excited about how this was going to turn out.
We spent like 20 mins looking at them slowly move into the wreck with the scuffle as we were slowly running low on air--obviously we planned on seeing much more than that--so we decided to leave and hop back to the amazing reef and continue the dive.
Clearly, since Sci-Fi exists, At the end we all knew what we thought it was, "The King Crabtopus!"

Friday, January 3, 2014

Manta Rays - a not too common sight in Grenada; nevertheless a frequent visitor to our waters.

Manta rays are large eagle rays belonging to the genus Manta. The larger species, M. birostris, reaches 7 m (23 ft) in width while the smaller, M. alfredi, reaches 5.5 m (18 ft). Both have triangular pectoral fins, horn-shaped cephalic fins and large, forward-facing mouths. They are classified among the Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) and are placed in the eagle ray family Myliobatidae.
Both species are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of NatureAnthropogenic threats include pollution, entanglement in fishing nets, and direct harvesting for their gill rakers for use in Chinese medicine. Their slow reproductive rate exacerbates these threats. They are protected in international waters by the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals, but are more vulnerable closer to shore. Areas where mantas congregate are popular with tourists. Only a few aquariums are large enough to house them. In general, these large fish are seldom seen and difficult to study

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Recently we have found Black Brotula Fish on our reefs, in particular around Veronica L wreck. A fairly rare sight, this unusual fish is an interesting sight, more looking like an crossbreed between an eel and a fish. Brotulas are a family, Bythitidae, of ophidiiform fishes, also known as viviparous brotulas as they bear live young. this fish are shy and usually retreat on the approach of divers. However with patience we were able to get some good pictures of this rare sighting.
picture courtesy Graeme from UK - thank you!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The new Ocean Health Index is out and Grenada has laid out what it needs to do to move forward: In Overall ranking Grenada scores 48;

# 11 for sustainable seafood provision - small fishing industry works with sustainable practices.

# 85 for Local Fishing Opportunities - not enough marine protected areas to sustain small close to shore fishing.

no Natural non food products are harvested in Grenada

# 36 for Carbon storage in our coastal system - could be better if we had more mangroves left.

# 39 for coastal protection which measures jobs, wages and revenues of the marine work force - fisherman are better off compared to other jobs available on the island.

# 97 for coastal likelihoods measuring marine related jobs like harbors, marinas, suppliers.

# 25 for sustainable tourism and recreation, protecting the marine resources while sharing it with tourists and generating jobs and revenues for the local community.

# 32 for sense of place or what percentage of our coastal areas are actually protected - we can do much better here.

# 82 for clean waters - this is our weakest point, sewerage from the town of St. George's still goes unfiltered into the ocean, the sewage pipe by the airport is broken since 2004, this is in urgent need of attention.

# 69 for biodiversity, Grenada boast a great variety of marine life.

find out more and where your country stands at Ocean Health Index.org

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Caribbean Lionfish has arrived in Grenada with a vengeance. The Caribbean Lionfish is an invasive species who has no natural enemies in the Caribbean, grows much biggers than its Pacific counterpart and feeds on all the smaller reef fishes and juveniles. Hence being a threat to the diversity and balance of the Caribbean Reefs. Our first sighting was just 9 month ago now they are everywhere! However most of them are not big enough for the pan (yet), so we just kill them and leave them to be eaten by other fish and eels. We hope they develop a taste for it and help us to control this species. Reports from the Bahamas show that after 10 years finally other predators are taken care on the problem among them sharks and groupers. However it took them a while to figure out this strange looking nevertheless beautiful fish is food too.
Summertime is always Manta time in Grenada. Sightings are reported of a family living just off famous Grand Anse Beach. On many days we have to calm sun bather storming into our store claiming they have seen a shark fin close to shore. We take them outside and watch together the manta wingtips breaking the surface while feeding on krill - small crustacean. On longer observation one can clearly see the dark rectangular shade of the ray. Above picture was taken at Molinere Marine Park, while waiting for the safety stop to be over. These are the nice surprises even when you think the dive is over. So on your next safety stop keep your eyes open and be alert; you never know who will pass by!