Something a little fishy

By David Best, Marine Research and Conservation Programme Field Staff 3 years ago
Categories Uncategorized

I wish I could breathe underwater. Being in the ocean and observing all the amazing marine life in its natural habitat is a job that will never grow old for me. But the only problem is I have to breathe oxygen and stay fairly close to the surface for the majority of my time in the water. In the past year with GVI I have snorkelled on countless occasions and always seen something new or intriguing. I feel my lungs have expanded exponentially and can free-dive for gradually increasing periods of time. But still every time I need to come up for air is because I don’t have gills and I don’t particularly want to drown.

Honeycomb Moray Eel

Honeycomb Moray Eel

Clear Fin Lion Fish

The Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve are some of the most pristine coral reefs along the Kenyan coast with a great amount of biodiversity in their marine life. Dolphins and turtles are regular sightings especially at this time of year. The water is crystal clear and flat like a mirror for days on end. This provides the perfect opportunity for tourists and researchers alike to come and see the incredible reefs and fish in the area. Working in the marine park has helped enrich my knowledge of fish species. I have learned that most of the bright white sandy beaches are comprised of a large level of fish poop, especially parrotfish poop. Just think about that the next time you’re lying on a tropical paradise, you’re probably lying on fish faeces, nice.Even though you may be relaxing on a beach made from aquatic defecation it does not detract from their immense beauty.















Moorish Idol


Reef fish are among the most diverse in the world, there are 79 different species of butterfly fish and 51 different species of angel fish. Butterfly fish and angel fish are the key indicator species for healthy coral reefs and are also among the most beautiful. The ‘classic’ reef fish are encountered everywhere you snorkel or dive in the Marine Protected Area and identifying or recognising specific species after you get out of the water is a big part of my enjoyment for working here. When I go back home to Scotland there will be no excessively beautiful fish, mainly Haddock, Cod and Salmon, very tasty but not very good looking. Another disadvantage Scotland has in comparison to the Indian Ocean and Kenyan coastline is a drastically lower temperature. The North Sea is not renowned for snorkelling. Although I may never gain the ability to breathe underwater I will continue snorkelling and viewing the subaquatic world from the surface occasionally diving slightly deeper to get a closer look at one of my favourite fish, the Emperor Angelfish.

Emperor Angelfish