REEF in Fiji 2013
Paul Humann and Christy Semmens from REEF hosted another great group of amateur reef surveyors for their 2013 Fiji fish count.
The organisation REEF, does these counts around the world with the information being compiled for use by scientists, governments and other such organisations for many purposes, perhaps the most important one of those is to provide a better understanding of the ecosystems surveyed, allowing us to be able to better protect it. As the saying goes, knowledge is power. The knowledge gained here will hopefully give force to later protection programs with the data provided now and in previous and subsequent trips helping to show patterns in things such as breeding cycles and migrations, information about habitats and the general health of the ecosystem, just to list a few examples.
This trip was a little different for us in regards to how it was run. We did a program of 3 survey dives a day and a lecture about how to identify the different types of fishes run by Paul every evening, with a couple of afternoon and night dives thrown in. We still ran our usual fun Nai’a entertainments like the famous Nai’a Kava party and the village visit and hit all of our top dive sites.
Ornate Ghostpipefish by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Lemon Peel Angelfish by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Semicircle Angelfish by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Pixie Hawkfish by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Damsels by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Sand Perch by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Many Spotted Sweetlips by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Blue Triggerfish by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Bignose Unicornfish by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Scalefin Anthias (Male) by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Arc-eye Hawkfish by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Blue-green Damsels by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Soldierfish by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Blue Ribbon Eel by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Titan Triggerfish by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Golden Damsel and Bluetreak Cleaner Wrasse by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Tang by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
Blue Streak Gobys by Lester Knutsen. www.lesterknutsen.com
There were many diving highlights on this trip. Nora found a Hairy Ghostpipefish at the end on the previous trip at ‘E6’. Paul really wanted to go back at the start of this trip to see if it was still there and lo and behold, it was! It had moved down the reef by about 10 meters but Nora manage to re-find it. As well as this wonderful find, Christy also found a Dancing (White capped) Shrimpgoby. E6 is not the type of dive site that you would typically expect to find such a fish but it is there none the less!
Other highlights for us were when Nora observed and filmed a pair of Reticulated Dascyllus mating in an empty giant clam shell on ‘Coral Corner’ and when Eddie found a Nai’a pipefish on ‘Maytag’.
There was also an Ornate Ghostpipefish to be found on ‘Mount Mutiny’ and a pair of brown Pygmy Seahorses on ‘Anthias Avenue’ in Gau.
Some of the divers also came across a Titan Triggerfish making its nest at ‘Tetons II’ in Namena. Although it was easily approached this time we may have to take care for the next couple of weeks. They tend to get a little grumpy and quite territorial when nesting. Although this behaviour is very interesting when viewed from a distance it can be a little intimidating for some divers when the fish start to defend their nests. I had best be sure to mention that in my next dive briefing for the site!
Great conditions, great guests and great times had by all.
Cheers REEF. You brought a wonderful group of divers. See you next time!
“Fiji is a hot spot of biodiversity. We’re here for the rich colorful soft coral reefs as well as the unusual stuff - the strange little creatures and endemic fishes.”
~ Dr. Tim Laman, biologist and National Geographic Photojournalist