Reef and Fishery Assessment of Navassa Island National Wildlife Refuge

On April 23, 2009 scientists from the NOAA's Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami Florida (SEFSC) departed from San Juan, Puerto Rico aboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster. Their destination: the Navassa National Wildlife Refuge. Along with the NOAA scientists are researchers from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (UM/RSMAS), the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the Director of the Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBiM), an NGO based in Haiti.
This work is funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


While we were doing our second count of the afternoon a large dog snapper Lutjanis jocu swam into my sampling area. It is rare to see large fish around Navassa, and we are always on the lookout. I snapped a couple of photos from far away just to prove I saw it and continued working. After finishing my count I headed toward my buddy Mike Judge who was just finishing his count nearby. We were both surprised to see the same snapper heading toward us and we immediately began snapping pictures. It was obvious there was something wrong with this fish, and as he got closer- right up to us- we could see he was disoriented and had scrapes and cuts all over him and his fins were also frayed. (We later speculated that he might have been in a fish trap and somehow escaped). In my experience, it is very rare to be able to approach a dog snapper so close. We took a bunch of photos and one of Mike's photos, with me in the background, is included here.


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