BESS Alumnus Kerwin Mullings Participates in Conch Research Expedition

Aug 29, 2016

During my time on the conch expedition, I have met scientist that changed the way I execute certain situations today.  Like how I can do things the easy way instead of hurting myself doing it the long way. The goal of the trip was to survey Queen Conch abundance using a couple of techniques: towed-observer surveys over the shallower banks and testing out and using a deeper water remote camera system over the shelf. We got to fly underwater by using the hydrodynamic boards that were attached to the speed boat through a thick rope. We took many pictures of ocean floor for the purpose of the research that we were doing.  The pictures also showed me how conch populations can rapidly decline.

I would like to acknowledge the scientist that hosted this conch expedition for the 2016 year.  His name is Dr. Andy Kough and he is a brilliant scientist with a good sense of humour!  There were representatives from well-known establishments such as BREEF, BNT, CEI and Shedd Aquarium.

We took the measurements of over 700 conch, we have counted 1,238 mature adults, and 3,941 sub-adults and juveniles, we gathered over 226,000 images of the ocean bottom, and we towed over 90 kilometres of beautiful Bahamian waters!  I believe everyone was satisfied with the results on the trip.  I would be glad and willing to assist Shedd Aquarium and other scientist like Dr. Andy Kough in the future.  I could not thank Shedd Aquarium and BREEF enough for this marvellous opportunity that was given. Thank You!  Oh, and shout out to Captain Alex and Z for being awesome mariners during my time there.  They really kept us safe!

Conch_Survey_27 Kerwin