Our People – Zaidy. Marine Biologist & PADI Divemaster intern
Zaidy, a M.Sc. Marine Biologist, has been in Grenada for a few years and we are very happy to feature her here today. Having just celebrated a birthday with us last week and about to leave us (briefly right?!) for her next adventure completing an internship at the UN in New York, Zaidy has been in Grenada working on different grants and projects through the Fisheries Division, Carib Save and UWI Cavehill CERMES. Obviously keeping herself busy somehow she found the time to get her PADI Divemaster course going and is now a familiar face not only to our staff but our guests as well. We would like to wish Zaidy a belated Happy Birthday from all of us and our very best wishes on her adventure to New York. We will miss her and look forward to having her back!
Dive Site – Shore dive or snorkel off of Grand Anse Beach in front of Eco Dive
Dive profile 0′ – 20’/5m
Most often used as a snorkeling site the seagrass beds and selection of reef boulders found off Grand Anse Beach in front of Eco Dive make an excellent beginner dive and an even better night critter hunting dive. Deceptive at first as the critters in the seagrass, which is the majority of the area, are very well camouflaged and can be hard to see from the surface with a little patience and a keen eye the more you look the more there is to be found. From octopus to reef and sea grass squid, to flying gurnards, seahorses, pipefish and puffer fish to the array of eels and sand divers there is an impressive amount to be found right here at home. As a night dive with a torch and a seamlessly endless profile in an average of 4 m of water this site can be a gem for the critter specific divers who love long profiles and like the chance to ‘lime’ with our sea critters.
Additionally as this site is a vbery popular multi use area for beach goers, watersports, swimmers and more clean up dives are often held along the Grand Anse beach to help keep this great little surprise location what it is. Next Eco Dive clean up dive is scheduled for March 22nd, any interested snorkelers, kayakers or divers please get in touch!
Feature Creature – Manta Ray (Manta birostris)
The largest of the world’s rays with the largest species of the two reaching over 7.5 m wide, these fish are well known perhaps because of their unique shape, the amazing experience it is to dive with them or because of their intelligence and potentially interactive underwater behaviour. With the largest brain of any fish these rays are curious and playful. Despite their large size these rays are harmless to people with no teeth no tail barbs these filter feeders are a treat to see particularly if we get to spend some time hanging out together. Interestingly most shark and ray species have more pups/babies in one litter than most Manta rays do in a lifetime (1 every 2-3 years). Mantas are under threat from commercial fishing, ‘shark’ fining and as a result of their dwingling numbers and the great researhc happening internationally on them they are presentlythe first ray species to be listed in the Convention for Migratory Species Act and now very recently also listed on CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) as an Appendix II species. This is great news for the species’ and we can only hope that we get to see more of them as time goes by.
For many of our 2013/14 students who certified with us and received their Project AWARE certification card which indicates a financial contribution was made on their behalf to the protection of rays and sharks – you were a part of contributing to the lobbying for manta protection and with the CITES Appendix II ruling it paid off! Thank you to all of our students for your support in our 100% commitment.