Timely UN talks appear to be setting the pace for an international treaty on open ocean fisheries and their management.
The Witman Lab (Jon and Robbie) returned in December from an epic adventure in the South Pacific! We spent 3 weeks working with Dr. Evie Wieters, of the Estacion Costera de Investigaciones Marinas (ECIM)
Evie has been studying the remarkable shallow rocky subtidal and intertidal ecosystems of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) for almost 15 years. We joined her and her team (Itziar Burgues, Teresa Navarrette) and Dr. Alejandro Perez-Matus to study the unique coral and algal reefs of this remote island, with the help of terrific dive support from the Orca Dive Shop
--The dive shop is run by Michel Garcia, and his brother, Henri, a Cousteau Society ocean ambassador and an original member of the Calypso exploration team.--
Rapa Nui is located waayyyyy far out in the South Pacific. Its extreme isolation fostered the famous stone head statue-building culture and also has produced unique marine communities that we were keen to study within the framework of our global efforts to examine diversity and ecosystem resilience in an era of rapid climate change.
This cool video from National Geographic depicts theories behind the cultural past of the Rapa Nui civilization.
Below, Jon and his trusty quadropod take pictures of benthic diversity on the walls of Motu Kau Kau
Below, Robbie runs video transects to document benthic community structure and associated fauna. An individual colony of Pocillopora eydouxi stands out in a monoculture of P. verrucosa, while spiny Diadema sea urchins graze down the bare substrate.
To see more from our Easter Island Expedition, check out the slideshow on the Brown Webpage:
Follow the Witman Lab's adventures, on land and at sea @witmanlab on Instagram and Twitter!