Belize Lionfish Expedition
Who: Blue Ventures
Where: Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, Belize
When: February – March
Duration: 9 days
Focus: Lionfish culling and research. Lionfish have no native predators outside its original home in the Indo-Pacific, Therefore, this invasive species poses a huge threat to Belize’s coral reefs.
Requirements: All volunteers must be Advanced Open Water divers on arrival. A skills refresher course is available.
Cost: 9 days from GBP 850.
As a volunteer, you will:
- Join Blue Ventures at a remote research and expedition dive camp and learn about the marine environment of this UNESCO World Heritage Marine Reserve.
- Assist an international team of marine biologists and field scientists to investigate the invasive lionfish and its effect on the surrounding reefs.
- Learn all about their behaviour, competitors and prey.
- Improve your dive skills, and receive in-water training in lionfish detection, survey training and safe, environmentally sound methods for hunting and removing lionfish from coral reefs.
- Participate in lionfish culls while diving to directly combat the spread of these invasive fish.
- Conduct lionfish surveys and dissect the fish once caught.
- Obtain valuable data on: the impact to juvenile reef fish numbers; the progression of the lionfish invasion; population status; diet and reproductive rates; and test hypotheses on specific impacts and recommendations for management.
- Take part in surveying of marine megafauna also seen during dives.
Accommodation: Bacalar Chico dive camp is at the northern tip of Belize’s largest island Ambergris Caye, a two hour boat ride from the fishing town of Sarteneja.
Sleeping: Shared beach-front eco-cabins to a max of 4 volunteers.
Food: Three meals a day prepared by local chefs.
Base size: maximum of three per staff member.
The next step: Visit Blue Ventures for more information and to book.
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