Emma E. Cooper Primary school joined us last week for an afternoon tour. However, this was no typical tour of campus! The entire primary school came with Kindergarten through grade 6, a total of 83 students and 8 teachers; we had quite the group! It was their first visit in 4 years and all were more than excited to be here at Island School.
Seven Queens University students, a group of visiting students from Ontario, Canada here fulfilling the field requirement for their teaching degree, came to lend a hand. We split the students into groups where they rotated between three different stations. In the Wet lab, they not only saw all the checkered puffers, bonefish, juvenile lemon sharks, lionfish, yellow stingrays, cobia, tilapia, etc. but they also learned how and why we are studying these marine species. The next station was a virtual tour of a coral reef – a movie by BREEF (Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation) where the students learned what makes a coral reef, its importance in the Bahamas, and how to protect this fragile coastal ecosystem. The third station was split between the farm with pigs, ducks and a permaculture garden, and the sustainable systems of campus. The systems tour exposed students to how we make biodiesel for our school vans, resource/recycle ~90% of what we use, and how we reduce our energy “footprint” by using solar panels and a wind turbine to produce energy. Continue reading
While CEI will be welcoming a new bunch of Spring interns in January, one intern is already at CEI, getting off to an early start in the Sustainable Aquaculture Program.
Tom Keet, from South Africa, attended Stellenbosch University near Cape Town, SA. He just finished his undergraduate degree in Aquaculture, and is putting to use what he learned in the CEI wet lab. Tom heard about CEI while researching sustainable aquaculture projects, and decided to apply for a spring internship.
Tom is helping to establish a pilot study on the feasibility of culturing spiny lobster in the lab. With his knowledge of aquaculture systems and his strong work ethic in the field, Tom is a valuable addition to team CEI. While here, Tom says he plans to enjoy his time working in the ocean, strengthen his experience in aquaculture, and fish in his free time. Tom plans to head back to South Africa in June to pursue a Master’s degree in Aquaculture.
Two weeks ago the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) harvested over one hundred black penshells from a beautiful beach at Ten Bay, located near Palmetto Point. Penshells are a kind of scallop, and we aim to culture them here at CEI for a of couple reasons. As filter feeders, penshells thrive in water with higher nutrients, using the nutrients to grow and as a result clean the surrounding water. Currently, we have our collected penshells in two separate groups: one group in the wet lab in a flow through tank, and another group in a small cage about 100m off the beach where our main pump intake is. In the lab, we feed the penshells concentrated microalgae, whereas the group out in the ocean does not get fed. We are monitoring both groups daily, by recording temperature, dissolved oxygen and salinity.
Once both groups are acclimated and showing good growth rates, we are going to attempt to breed them and raise penshells into maturity. We plan on putting the resulting stock in the mangrove