Archive for July, 2017

Research on the impacts of invasive seagrass on juvenile Queen Conch

July 8th, 2017

conch seagrass article

NuStar Energy L.P. recently provided support for local marine research through a generous donation to Ecological Professionals Foundation. This project involving local research partners has been fully funded thanks to NuStar’s donation. The research will provide a preliminary insight into the possible effects of the rapidly spreading invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea on juvenile Queen Conch (Lobatus gigas), which in many regions of the Caribbean are largely dependent on native seagrass beds during much of their juvenile phase.

The growth, survival, and diet of juvenile Queen Conch living in the invasive seagrass will be studied and compared to juvenile conch living in native seagrass. The knowledge this project will generate can be used, if necessary, to adapt current management activities in order to maintain a local and regional sustainable Queen Conch fishery. The project will be conducted under the umbrella of recently established research and training organization, Ecological Professionals Foundation. The research activities will be spearheaded by PhD candidate Erik Boman of Wageningen University, Dr. Johan Stapel, director of the Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute (CNSI), and Tadzio Bervoets, director of the St Maarten Nature Foundation. Hannah Madden, founder of Ecological Professionals, and the collaborative partners are extremely grateful to NuStar Energy L.P. for their financial support of this important project and look forward to commencing fieldwork in the new year.

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