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UB ERI Marine Biologist Participates in SPAG’s Course


Last week, Little Water Caye, one of the many cayes that make up the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve welcomed a group of marine scientist and researchers as it hosted a Reef Fish Spawning Aggregation (SPAG) Monitoring Course.

The course was led by Dr. Yvonne Sadovy, Director of the Society for the Conservation of Reef Fish Aggregations (SCRFA) which aims to raise awareness about the vulnerability of reef fish spawning aggregations and work towards their better protection and management. Dr. Sadovy has over 20 years’ experience in work focused on the biology, management and conservation of reef fishes.

A total of ten scientist and leaders in SPAG’s monitoring participated in the course including our very own Marine Biologist, Celso Cawich who leads our SPAG’s team when the time comes for our yearly SPAG’s monitoring of the Turneffe Atoll.

“All SPAG’s divers play a crucial role in the field work. This training give SPAG’s dive leaders a chance to come together to share experiences and learn from each other."

The main objectives of the course were to:

  • Train lead members of each of the spawning aggregation monitoring teams in Belize in the new fish count protocol and enable them to act as trainers for the other members of their team;

  • Provide a refresher in all aspects of the monitoring protocol;

  • Provide an opportunity for participants to gain knowledge from each other and share experience in monitoring, management and conservation of reef fish spawning aggregations.

It was Four days of dives, presentations and discussion sessions which are really beneficial in keeping up to date in SPAG’s monitoring methodologies in order for data collection to be standardized, accurate and efficient as possible.

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