The Department of Environment (DOE) is playing close attention to sharks and groupers. In partnership with Marine Conservation International (MCI), the team is currently monitoring the shark, grouper and snapper populations around the Cayman Islands. These species are being monitored because of the important role they play in the marine ecosystem. As apex predators they keep everything in balance and check.
To help keep count of the species, researches are utilizing various tools. For sharks they are using an orange tag with numbers, that are attached to a shark’s dorsal fin. For fish acoustic tags are being used. They send a ping which is read by receivers placed around the island. This helps researchers track the movement of the fish. There is a reward for acoustic tags that are returned. For smaller fish beads are attached to the dorsal fins.
A part of its research, the DOE is inviting the public to take part. Divers, snorkelers and fishermen are asked to upload their photos of any shark, grouper, or snapper onto Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #SpotThatCayFish. To be able to understand the movement and seasonality of the fish, you need to include the dive or snorkel site, date, time of day, and to acknowledge your part in the programme – your name – in the post on #SpotThatCayFish.
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