Tuesday, May 15, 2007

An overview of Guam

We have completed our surveys at Guam and are on our way to Rota. Overall, Guam has been nice, but not terribly impressive from a diving point of view. In terms of large fish (greater than 50 cm long) we have seen very few. The chart I have posted here shows the distribution of large fishes around the island. Bear in mind that each pie slice generally represents a single fish with the largest pie at the northeastern tip of the island representing a grand total of twelve fish! Not a great many for a tropical island in this part of the world. I apologize in advance for the rather cryptic 4 letter species codes, one of the data processing steps currently involves the use of a file format that doesn't support names longer than 8 characters. We are hoping to get this fixed in the near future.

Of the few fish we did see, most were concentrated at the points of the island where there is generally the greatest current exchange and also where the overall slope of the sea-floor appears steepest. We will have to look into this last point a little bit more to see if it stands up to statistical testing.

Tomorrow we start our work at Rota and are hoping for more exciting dives (at least as far as fish surveys go). After spending just one day at Rota we will continue on to Aguijan, Tinian and then Siapan before heading into the Northern Marianas. It is these, sparsely inhabited, northern islands we are all very much looking forward to.


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