4: Bahamas 2013 | Schooling fish

Genevieve is a former intern from the dive department. She joined Aquarium divers in the Bahamas to help collect fish, under special permits, so that visitors in Boston can appreciate the splendor of a healthy Caribbean reef.  After a top-to-bottom transformation, the Giant Ocean Tank is expected to reopen in early summer with more than twice the number of fish than last fall. 

By the fourth day of collecting, we definitely had the basics of collecting down and for the first three dives of the day, we brought 100 fish on board. The Strip is a long, narrow reef with hundreds of inhabitants. We were instructed to focus on blackbar soldierfish, goatfish and grunts.

Schooling grunts | Photo: Mark Rosenstein

A closer look at grunts | Photo: Mark Rosenstein

Blackbars are coral-colored with black bars (hence the name) next to their eyes. They hang out in small groups underneath coral overhangs, so finding these guys in the GOT will be fun and their beauty makes it worth it. Goatfish and grunts are schooling fish in the GOT, representing an important survival method that occurs in the wild.

Blackbar soldierfish in a holding tank | Photo: Mark Rosenstein

The fourth dive of the day was a night dive at a familiar sight, Greenheads. Fish are easy to catch at night, because they are slow-moving and less aware.

Schooling goatfish | Photo: Mark Rosenstein

By showing visitors the beauty of a healthy Caribbean reef, we hope to inspire people to do what they can to protect these reefs and marine habitats around the world. Thanks to Mark Rosenstein for sharing his beautiful pictures!

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