Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bahamas Spring 2015 | The Trip Begins!

Aquarium divers are on an expedition to the Bahamas right now! They will collect fish destined for the Giant Ocean Tank. Chris will be blogging live from the boat with pictures and stories about what it takes to bring fish from the Bahamas to Boston

The centerpiece of the New England Aquarium is the 200,000-gallon Caribbean coral reef exhibit known as the Giant Ocean Tank. The massive reef soars through all four floors of the building and hosts hundreds of marine animals—from undulating eels and sleek barracuda to lumbering sea turtles and flitting wrasses.

View from the top of our beloved Giant Ocean Tank

This vibrant ecosystem engages visitors not only with its movement and diversity, we also hope to inspire people to take action to protect vulnerable reefs in the wild—places that many visitors may never be able to experience in person.

Visitors learn about coral reefs from this panel at the top of the GOT

But it takes a lot of careful preparation and planning to pull off a trip like this. Packing dive gear, working with Bahamian wildlife officials to identify fish suitable for collection, coordinating with participants and the dive boat crew...whew!

John, packing our gear to be shipped down to Miami

But now the time has come for the expedition to begin. We're in Miami preparing the boat, stocking it with food and getting all the life support systems cranking so the fish have a comfortable ride.

The R/V Coral Reef II, berthed at a boatyard on the Miami River

Stay with us! We're hoping to live blog from beautiful Bahamian islands with sunny pictures of sandy beaches, interesting stories from our dives and lots of information about our blue planet.

Harlequin bass, Serranus tigrinus, our trip fish! We hope to bring one of these back to show visitors in Boston.

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