Our resident Master's student, Jacqueline Lobera, is currently studying for her Master's degree at the University of Algarve, Portugal. She is working on video footage of fish the Foundation has reported on before, with the goal of analyzing the footage to determine a new and cost effective methodology for estimating fish biomass (a solid indicator of the health of the reef and the efectiveness of Marine Protected Areas).
In addition, Jacqueline has performed some statystical analysis on our data, discovering that the fish populations inside the Marine Protected Area are significantly improved in comparison to those just outside the MPA in the buffer zones, and this includes both abundance (I.E. raw numbers of fish population) and diversity (the variety of fish observed).
Such evidence can be of great help in securing further no-take zones and MPAs across the coast of Pemba, ultimately leading to improved biodiversity (increasing the likelihood we will see populations of fish such as sharks and manta rays return to our waters) and more sustainable populations for the future, so this is very very encouraging news.
Keep an eye out for a full article in the coming weeks, and see below some sample graphs for surgeonfish and wrasses used in Jacqueline's study of fish populations!