BVI – Day 2


Today we conducted our research projects and tested our hypothesis during our dives at both sides of Ginger island to see if parrot fish visit “cleaning stations” – an area in the coral reefs with dense groups of cleaner fish that remove parasites and other harmful organisms from larger fish – less frequently than other fish. From our dives, so far we have concluded that our hypothesis was correct and that parrot fish visit the cleaning stations much less frequently than other fish. Parrot fish are able to maintain healthy bodies because of their protective cocoons they form at night using a mucous-filled organ on the top of their head. It was also extremely exciting to see reef sharks roam through the coral and receive other cleaning treatments from larger cleaning fish. Observing the ecosystems in our different dive sites, I discovered that some fish are territorial and protect a specific coral by chasing other fish away. I realized that this could be a type of symbiotic relationship between the protecting fish who defends the coral from harmful predators and the coral who provides the fish with nutrients by allowing it to clean other harmful things from its surface. Because of how well our study went today and because of the extremely moving documentar we watched at the end of the day, I have a renewed motivation to get back in the water and do anything I possibly can to help the coral survive climate change. I think we can help with the issue of decreasing number of corals by helping the coral nursery and planting new corals wherever we can.