The DPLUS153 project entitled conserving tropical marine ecosystems through science-based fisheries management has been extremely fortunate to have the support of two excellent interns, Jerquel and Sakilé, who have been eagerly and actively involved in project field and lab work over the past few months!
We asked them to share a little bit of their experience with us; here is what they had to say…
The resin block was later cut by a special machine, so that the nucleus and the rings can be clearly seen under the microscope, after being bonded to a slide using a few drops more of resin.
I also assisted in the process of taking photos of the otoliths slide seen under the microscope, to be aged. The fisheries lab worked with other parts of the fish as well including the gonads which was extracted from the fish and placed in formalin for preservation. Using the gonads, the sex of the fish could be determined as well as the stage of development. This is important so that the reproduction of certain species of fish can be monitored and studied. I am honored to have been part of one of the only marine/fisheries labs regionally, that is performing fish aging using their otoliths.
Through this project, I've not only gained valuable hands-on experience but also come to appreciate the intricate web of life beneath the waves. Working alongside Dr. Ed Butler and Jessly Robinson has been delightful as they never cease to disperse their knowledge and share expertise with me. I have gained a lot of skills and learned new techniques that were otherwise unfamiliar to me prior to my commencement of this apprenticeship. With that being said, I’m enthusiastic to see the final outcome of this study and the impact it will have on the management and monitoring of marine life in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Newly constructed juvenile-fish traps ready to be deployed.