From our breeding pairs, we produced 50 new Maldivian Blackfoot Clownfish (Amphiprion nigripes) juveniles this month, and these have been moved to the public viewing area along with the batch of 75 juveniles from last month. Our Clark’s Clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii) fared less well (just 7 juveniles) and we only have a single breeding pair that is currently laying.
As part of their marine biology classes, our six apprentices from the Four Seasons training programme have to work on a scientific project. Asjadh and Saaniu are researching suitable methods to release captive-bred fish into the wild by trying two different approaches:
- Fish/anemone system (compatibility between a wild anemone and captive bred fish). During previous experiments last year, we released Clark’s Clownfish inside a Ritteri anemone (Heteractis magnifica). This time, we released our Blackfoot Clownfish into a Ritteri, and released the Clark’s into a Merten’s carpet anemone (Stichodactyla mertensii).
- Anemone/reef system (anemone location). Previous attempts at creating an anemone garden used a sandy location, so this time we are trying a rocky area. We have relocated two wild anemones near Al Barakat reef, covered with a protective cage to keep them from moving.