All our lab-grown algae (phytoplankton) are doing very well, from the 100ml bottles through to the large 18 litre buckets. During November we produced 1544 litres of Nannochloropsis and 863 litres of Tetra. The zooplankton production has also been very successful this month, with our rotifer buckets up to good concentration levels of 300 individuals per millilitre.
During November, we saw a total of six spawns from our Maldivian Clownfish (Amphiprion nigripes) breeding pairs, and a further four batches from our Clark’s Clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii). By the end of the month we had 536 Maldivian and 162 Clark’s juveniles.
By way of an experiment this month, we released six Maldivian Clownfish and six Clark’s Clownfish back into the lagoon, along with their corresponding anemones. We chose to site them close to the Water Villas, and plan to check back regularly to see if they remain in the area or move to a new location.
Maldivian Clownfish in our Lab (left) and after release into the lagoon (Clark’s Clownfish, centre)
Mushroom Coral Feeding – short timelapse video filmed in our Fish Lab
The most frequently sighted megafauna species during November –
- Hawskbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas)
- Blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)
- Whitetip reef shark (Carcharhinus longimanus)
- Sicklefin lemon shark (Negaprion acutidens)
- Spotted eagle rays (Aetobatus narinari)
- Bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) – we were fortunate to see two large groups of 40 and 70 individuals (the largest groups sighted since August).
- Spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) gave us some exciting aerial shows this month, in pods of 35 to 100 individuals (a few calves were observed). They were very active, approaching the boat to ‘bow ride’ and then jumping and spinning out of the water.
- Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) – a small pod of six individuals (showing avoidance behaviour).
- Manta rays (Manta alfredi) – it is now the end of manta season, as December brings a change in the monsoon season, from locally named ‘Hulhangu’ (S-W Monsoon) to ‘Iruvaa’ (N-E Monsoon). During the N-E Monsoon, many of the mantas that were seen in Baa Atoll make the short journey down to Ari Atoll in the South, or up to Raa Atoll in the North, where greater abundance of food can be found in the ocean channels of these atolls.
Short 10 second clip of a beautiful Feathertail stingray, spotted whilst diving near the island of Voavah
1 minute clip of a wild green turtle swimming over a coral reef