Live Report from the Bahamas: How to seine a beach in seven simple steps.

The Aquarium's teen diving expedition Sea TURTLE is reporting live from the Bahamas. This post is from Lulu.

Step one: Get a good group of people. About 16 people or so.

Step two: Assign positions- Lead line holders, buoy line holders, master/mistress snorkler (me), north beaters and south beaters.

Step three: Get your people in position. One set of buoy/lead line holders will go out to the snorkle master and then walk to the right of the snorkle master so that he or she is in the middle of the net. Use a big net (roughly 50 ft X 8 ft).

Step Four: Have the beaters line up (evenly) along the sides of the lead line/buoy line holders and tell them to "START BEATING" the water and have Captain John yell "Here fishy fishy fishy!".

Step Five: Lead line/buoy line holders, start walking towards the beach making sure that the lead line is just a little bit ahead under the buoy line and keeping it close to the bottom of the water. Beaters, keep beating!

Step Six: Once your close enough to the beach, bring the lead line up and hold the bouy line and lead line together as you walk out into deeper water.

Step Seven: Shake the net into a little pool like shape in the water and have someone recored what species you find and how many of them you find! Yesterday, we got to do a beach seine which is a popular way to collect fish that live a little closer to shore. On every trip that the R/V Coral Reef II takes, there is a beach seine. However, on the Aquarium's collecting trips, they will use 100 ft long net. After doing three beach seines, we found 23 different species of fish. Most of them were juvenile fish that live in the sand and turtle grass. My favorite ones were the band-tailed puffer, sharp-nosed puffer, red-banded parrot, queen conch, orange-spotted filefish, and juvenile trunkfish! For the second and third seine, we got some help from a family from Boston and New York!

We met some new friends from Boston and New York and quickly put them to work on the seine.

For us, it was a great experience. Being able to see how our very own collecting staff gets to do there beach seines. Even after doing just three seines, we still got a whole lot of different species. We got to also learn about what the different purposes are for doing a beach seine. For example, people might do many beach seins to do research about what the different organisms are that live in that particular area. Another reason is for education/entertainment. We got to do ours for education and learn mostly how a beach seine works. The entertainment part of it, would be sort of like what the Aquarium does during collecting trips. They collect fish to bring back to the Giant Ocean Tank so that people who normally wouldn't be able to see these types of fish, could see them. Overall, it was a great learning experience. I wouldn't mind doing it again!


[This process is described in this previous post from the 2011 collecting expedition, this post from 2010, as well as this post from the 2010 teen diving expedition and this 2009 post.]

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