#4: Patience and Planning

These are the virtues needed to catch fish. Here's why ... we go down 30-40 feet underwater with long hoses attached to a large tank, wetsuit, flippers, mask, two vinyl nets and a vinyl catch bag. We do NOT use any chemicals to knock fish out, we do NOT use dynamite to stun (or kill) them, nor do we trawl the ocean floor to catch them.

With the minimum impact methods we use for collecting, the only advantage a person can have over the fish they're trying to catch is patience and planning. I have very little patience, but I'm working on it, and planning how to catch a fish with your dive partner is really hard underwater while breathing off your regulator. You can do some planning before you go underwater, but all you're plans change as soon as someone sees that scrawled filefish or some other prize fish.

Deb, our Director of Visitor Experience at the aquarium, says she learned a very valuable lesson in patience today from a Queen Angelfish. Deb floated with her nets over a coral head for 5-10 minutes before the fish decided to dart out of the coral and right into one of her nets.

This was particularly exciting for Deb since she had to let a beautiful Queen triggerfish go, and it was her first catch! But ... Queen triggers are listed on the IUCN redlist of endangered and threatened species, and we won't take anything that is on that, or any other threatened or endangered list.

Had I been more patient I may have noticed this creature tucked under some coral. One of our participants, Terry, who has logged over 400 dives, had to flag me down and point it out.
Here's one end of it.

Wanna take a guess as to what it is?

It was a spotted moray eel. Thanks Terry!

After all the patience and planning underwater, we surface to take breaks between dives. Planning ahead is critical to ensure that there are plenty of cold things in the fridge to drink...the air from the scuba tanks is very dry and I come up pretty parched.

The drink of choice for Sherrie (our expedition leader and Senior Aquarist) is Yoo-hoo. That is correct, Yoo-hoo. And I have to say, despite the high fructose corn syrup, it is surprisingly refreshing after a dive...or maybe I'm just so thirsty I don't care. Let's see what Chris thinks.

I guess you'll just have to try it. (I sense a sponsorship coming our way!)

A preview of tomorrow...

Find out why we put the tallest person on the boat inside a small, boxy, net looking thing.


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