Monitoring - a different kind of diving
Divemaster Intern Chell, explains us more about fish monitoring. She recently had her first monitor dive, which she found quite satisfying!
As loyal Pez Maya blog-readers will know, us volunteers are allocated either Fish or Coral to focus on during our time here. Being intelligent, beautiful and just generally awesome, I was allocated Fish, as Fish people are better. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. Fish are obviously exciting, pretty and often full of personality. You can remain horizontal when observing them (sympathies, Coral people). And we only have to learn their common names, not the correct Latin names (sympathies again, Coral folk).
On the downside, fish have this surprising tendency to move while you’re trying to identify and size them. Very thoughtless of them really. They can also swim across your transect multiple times and you’re not sure whether you’ve already counted them. You also have to swim VERY slowly, and hold a lot of equipment (compass, data slate, t-bar), which makes it difficult to wave at them when they look at you. (Ok, so I need to stop doing that.)
Overall, monitoring is so satisfying. When you love diving like I do, every dive is amazing and you always see something cool. When you see a fish in your transect that’s not so common, it’s really exciting. It’s the closest some of us will ever get to being an actual scientist, without having to do all the years of study and losing all social skills . And best of all, you know you’re actually making a real difference to the protection of our beautiful reefs and all the lovely little fishies that live there – see you down there my little friends, I’ll be the one waving.
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