Amazing Conservation Opportunities Available to Young Bahamians.

BREEF and the Island School are now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholars programme (BESS).

The BESS programme is for motivated graduating high school students between the ages of 15-18 who are interested in learning more about the environment, conservation, and sustainable systems as they transition from high school to university studies.

Since the programme’s inception forty-four BES Scholars from schools throughout the country have participated in the programme.

Two young Bahamians, Katelyn Cambridge and Stacy Pinder, are interning at the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) as part of the BESS programme. 

Both scholars attended the Eco-Schools Coordinators Workshop in October. In addition, they assisted BREEF by guiding students in nearshore field trips to coral reefs, mangroves, and rocky shores during the BREEF Field Trip Block.

Katelyn taught students how to identify and survey fish and discussed how fish populations can help indicate reef health.

 BREEF congratulates Katelyn on attaining her PADI Open Water Diver certification. She also completed a one-week Seahorse research internship with Dr. Heather Masonjones in Eleuthera.

BESS Scholar Stacy is helping to care for the corals in the BREEF coral nursery and assisted partners at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and Reef Rescue Network. In the last 50 years, Bahamian Reefs have declined by 80%.

Growing and outplanting endangered Staghorn Coral, Acropora cervicornis, is one piece of the puzzle in restoring our reefs to health. 

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BREEF is proud of Stacy for attaining his PADI Reef Rescue Diver certification.

Additionally, Stacy was able to assist the Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization on a research expedition studying whales and dolphins in Abaco.

Crashonda Garvey and Carlton Taylor were also awarded scholarships by the Island School for 2018-2019. They have just completed their one hundred day semester in Cape Eleuthera and will be interning at BREEF and the Exuma Foundation in the Spring of 2019.

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Apply for BESS online:

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December Full Moon

The Nassau grouper is one of the most commercially important species throughout the Caribbean – including here, in The Bahamas.

As a top predator, Nassau grouper are vital to us and our oceans survival as they maintain the health of our reefs and therefore, they play an important role in securing our fisheries food supply.

Due to overfishing Nassau grouper is on the brink of extinction. It is currently listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Unlike other species of fish that may produce offspring year-round, Nassau grouper reproduce in only a few places and only during the winter months each year. These fish spawn immediately after the full moon from December to March. Individuals travel several dozen miles and more to form part of a very large group called spawning aggregations — thousands of individual groupers reproducing together for just a few days before returning to their home reefs.

They aggregate in the same place at the same time every year making them an easy target. Even fishers who use a line and a hook can be extremely harmful to the species.

In efforts to protect Nassau grouper, it’s now the official closed fishing season. This critically endangered species is off limits – that means no catching, purchasing or selling it from December 1 through February 28th.

If you are a restaurant or a chef – don’t serve it – even frozen. If you are a customer, or shopping – choose an alternative dish!

You can help ensure Nassau grouper does not go extinct by writing to our government to manage and establish more Marine Protected Areas to promote the preservation of spawning sites.

And you can report any illegal activity to law enforcement agencies.

Let’s do our part to protect the Nassau grouper for future generations. Choose another fish – and help spread the word by telling a friend.

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Nassau Grouper Closed Season Begins Today

Today marks the beginning of the Nassau Grouper Closed Season.
This means that it’s illegal to land, purchase or sell Nassau Grouper from December 01st to February 28th.

Let’s give them some time and privacy to make more Nassau Groupers.
In the meantime, try out other tasty options like Lionfish.

If you support the closed season, B.R.E.E.F. encourages you to make our image your social media profile picture and share it with your friends.

Learn More About Nassau Grouper And Why They Are So Important

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