Since 2019 Tobacco Caye Marine Station has collected data on three research projects. Each of these projects contribute to monitoring and improving our local marine environment and help us give back to the local residents and community of Tobacco Caye.
The Invasive Lionfish
This project has seen over 3500 invasive lionfish culled and data taken on each fish. Tobacco Caye Marine Station runs a bounty scheme for local fishermen to encourage them to capture the invasive lionfish, whilst providing them with an additional income source. The station also runs lionfish tournaments which are competitions to see which fisherman team captures the most lionfish in one single day!
Reef cleans at Tobacco Caye
Since 2019 we have been running the reef cleaning activity with our study abroad groups. This project has seen middle school, high school and college students all participate in collecting and documenting trash that washes up on the reef crest by Tobacco Caye. Each piece is logged and categorized and you can find more information on popular trash items in our research report below as well as on the National Geographic’s Marine Debris Tracker.
Coral Watch project
The Coral Watch Project is a citizen science project founded and started by the University of Queensland. TCMS encourages both students and tourists to get involved with assessing the health of coral colonies. The structure of coral is identified and then the colour of the coral is documented, both the darkest and lightest colours. This data is then uploaded to the Coral Watch database and shared globally. Since July 2021 TCMS has also been documenting disease types and rate of infection across sites around the South Water Caye Marine Reserve.