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|Cape Eleuthera Notes (August 2007)|
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|Posted by:||Sep 7th 2007, 07:33:00 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||The Cape Eleuthera Institute promotes a connection between people and the environment. Our holistic approach to island ecosystems, philosophy of collaboration and relationship building, and intrinsic bond between primary research and education helps to create model systems of effective resource management and sustainable development.
CEI offers a unique atmosphere for people of all ages to learn about tropical environments and sustainable design. Our commitment to connect primary research to education and outreach helps to promote environmental awareness and creates a diverse array of opportunities for scientists and students alike. For more information, please visit our Web site.
CEI research in the News
The Cape Eleuthera Institute's FECP has been in the news this summer. In July, Discovery News of the Discovery Channel wrote a piece centered on a recent scientific publication in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology by Sascha and Andy Danylchuk as well as other FECP researchers. The article highlighted their work on catch-and-release angling of bonefish.
Click here to read the full Discovery News ArticleT
We would like to invite you to join us at the upcoming Island School Research Symposium, which will be held on Saturday 1st December 2007. Topics this semester will include offshore aquaculture, coral reef ecology, shark habitat use, flats ecosystem ecology, local knowledge and use of medicinal plants, aquaponics, and archaeology.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
New Book Release
This month heralds the long awaited release of the Biology and Management of the World Tarpon and Bonefish Fisheries edited by Dr. Jerald Ault from the University of Miami. Included in this first ever scientific reference book on bonefish and tarpon is a chapter written by the FECP scientists on the Ecology and Management of Bonefish in the Bahamian Archipelago.
You can pre-order this book now on www.amazon.com
Relevant Website QUICK LINKS
Cape Eleuthera Institute
CEI BahamasIsland School
The Flats Ecology and Conservation Program (FECP) had an exciting summer and is looking forward to more successes this fall. Karen Murchie (PhD student at Carleton University) is back on campus continuing her investigations into the energetics and thermal ecology of bonefish. This research helps to better understand the temperature requirements of these amazing fish and allows us to recognize how angling may affect them at different times of the year.
In other exciting news, the FECP recently had a publication accepted in the prestigious journal Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A examining the stress associated with exercising bonefish and exposing them to air. The study found that bonefish exercised for 4 minutes underwent a number of physiological disturbances (as demonstrated by changes in their blood chemistry). Results demonstrated that anglers should strive to minimize angling times and duration of air exposure to reduce the disturbances to the fish and help make catch-and-release angling a more sustainable practice.
The FECP is looking forward to keeping you posted on additional publications arising from the team's efforts which would not be possible without the contributions of the Friends of the Flats!
Student Research Projects- Fall 2007
Here is a taste of what Island School students will be investigating this semester:
• Offshore Aquaculture: monitoring growth rates of cobia at CEI and conducting wild fish surveys around the existing pen structure.
• Flats Ecology: placing transmitters in lemon sharks to track movements in local flats environments.
• Sharks: constructing and deploying baited underwater video units to record species diversity and abundance.
• Archeology: identify, document, and protect important cultural resources on Cape Eleuthera.
• Ethnobotany: studying the effects of modern foods on the use of local plants as food sources by local residents.
• Aquaponics: establish a brood stock of tilapia to provide a local source of tilapia fingerlings.
• Patch reef: monitoring the abundance and distribution of commercially important species on patch reefs.
• Diadema: monitoring abundance and distribution of the Caribbean spiny sea urchin.
New Arrivals at the CEI Wet Lab
This month the Cape Eleuthera Institute's Offshore Aquaculture project received 7500 donated cobia (Rachycentron canadum) fingerlings from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Florida. Summer alumni interns helped CEI staff successfully transfer the juvenile fish to their new homes in the CEI wet lab facility and the fish have adapted well to their new environment.
Currently in six small larval rearing tanks, the fish will be transferred to larger holding tanks as they are growing fast! Caring for this many fish is a busy job for Edd Brooks, research associate, and Amanda Lillestone, CEI intern. The juvenile fish need feeding four times a day and their tanks must be cleaned even more often to keep them healthy and ensure their survival.
The juvenile cobia will remain in the CEI wet lab for only a few more months. They will then be ready to move to our 3000 m2 offshore pen in the north-east Exuma Sound for grow-out to a harvestable size. With its firm white flesh and rich taste, cobia have fast become a popular meal item and a commercially viable aquaculture species.
The Offshore Aquaculture project already has a broodstock of eight fish that will be maintained to produce eggs in the future and eliminate the need to fly fingerlings over from Florida. These larger fish arrived in March and have been growing steadily over the last few months.
Studies on growth rates and survival will continue to be carried out throughout the fish lifecyle, and a new study will look at the results of an ecosystem approach to stocking the offshore pen.
We shall keep you updated with news from the Offshore Aquaculture project, and would like to also recognize Daniel Benetti and Bruno Sardenberg at RSMAS for their continued support in this project.
This past summer was an exciting time at the Cape Eleuthera Institute with many visiting scientists and programs. Visiting scientists included Darren Johnson from Oregon State University and Gene Rankey from the University of Miami. Their research focused on the gene flow of Damsel Fish, and sand banks, respectively. Deb and Mike Gochfeld from the University of Mississippi assessed the feasibility of running their research on sponges and coral reef diseases from The Institute.
Visiting program participants ranged from middle school aged to university level students. A group of teachers from North America and The Bahamas learned what it was like to be an Island School student in a week long conference. Students in the Tropical Island Ecosystem Course (Carleton University) focused their studies on the demographics and feeding habits of the lionfish and the bonefish. Sail Caribbean and The Cape Eleuthera Institute collaborated on a three week course for high school students that embraced place-based learning by conducting research on juvenile bonefish, learning kayaking skills, and participating in community outreach. The Concord Boys and Girls Club focused their program on sustainable systems on campus and gained hands-on experience by building a solar cooker.
Returning alumni and university students worked as interns that assisted with running middle school summer camps that included: Boy Scouts from Connecticut, two Eleuthera Kids Camps, School of the Future and Link Community School. Interns also contributed back to The Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute by working on projects around campus. The projects included: planting and mulching in the orchard, building reef balls, and maintaining fish stocks in the wet lab.
Overall, visiting programs were a great success over the summer and the Cape Eleuthera Institute looks forward to these courses returning in the near future.
Would You Like to Organize Your Own Visiting Program? Please see the Visiting Programs section of our Web site.
Are you interested in bringing down a school group or other program to CEI? We can help design a program for students from middle school through graduate levels. We offer dormitory space for up to 72 students. You can bring your own teachers or we can collaborate with you, utilizing our staff of experienced teachers and researchers.
Thanks for keeping up touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you and hosting
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