Today I spent the day on Glaucus - a smallish boat that could venture into the shallow waters of Moreton Bay. We were using go-pros attached to a brick and a small float (so we could find our rep upon collection) to film which types of fish were using that particular patch of sea grass.

To attract the fish, we used pilchards broken up and placed into plastic mesh holders. We studied four locations: two towards the north of North Stradbroke Island (one in a green zone and one outside) and two towards the south (again, one inside a green zone and one outside). Green zones are more protected in Moreton Bay that non-green zones.

At each site (as chosen by the skipper of the boat (Paul)), we entered the water and snorkeled until we found the seagrass type we were trying to sample. We were looking for Zostera meadows, which are easily identifiable by the white striations when held up to the sunlight. Once a suitable location was located, the go-pro was placed into the water and the fish mesh was placed approximately 50 – 100cm in front. There were four reps (samples) completed at each location and left them for an hour before coming back to retrieve the sampling equipment.

We saw heaps of wildlife – a turtle, brittle sea stars, sea cucumbers, many large sea stars and some rather large sea birds. We were lucky enough to site a dugong popping its head out of the water just before returning to port! Once we returned to port (after 10 hours on the water) where our guides went through the data that we had collected – all 16 hours of it!!!

After cooking dinner for 13 people (Thai Green Curry, including perfectly absorbed fluffy white rice), we settled into the lecture theater in Research Station to learn about the Queensland Marine Park structure. This talk was fascinating as I was able to see all the hard work that is put into the decision making process. Moreton Bay is a beautiful place for sure!

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Thanks Lanie, Garratt, Paul and Dave for a fantastic day J