It’s been about eight months since LRMT was last on the island. What we’ve been dying to see is our research site and how it has changed over the course of the months. We were expecting to see some growth in seagrass and an increase in species richness and abundance. What we actually saw and heard was unanticipated.
We had been told by the staff at MCC that the bamboo structure (also known as cluster) has been cut and left stranded in waves of the vast ocean. They found it and retie it only to be cut off again. After it was cut for the second time, MCC let the concrete structure we deploy sit underwater without a marker for a while.
And that is not it! We got to witness the condition of our blocks in the murky water. About one-third of the concrete structure is buried in sand and sediment. Surrounded them were fishing net and trash. What we concluded happen was that some fishermen might cut off our cluster and trawl the area that has attracted commercial fish species. As a result, the hexagonal block structure was dragged across the ocean floor, bump into the three tiny hollow cubes and sink into the sand before it snatches off the net.
It was sad to see what we have deployed being ruined. But at the same time, we were glad that the block is doing its job. After all, we are doing a real-life research!
Sadly, we did not get to survey our site….because of the consistent bad visibility, but we got to make more bamboo clusters and clean the beach and keep being ocean advocates. Moving forward, we would develop our research project and work on making it a sustainable project.