SFA Aquaculture 1st Inner Islands Broodstock Collection Excursion.

The day had finally come to have fish in the BAQF. The SFA aquaculture team had one goal on this fishing excursion, which was to add fish in the new aquaculture facility and see that it is accomplished.

There was a total of six staff chosen to go on this fishing excursion, each having certain skills in, fishing, fish identification and water quality management.

May to September is the South East Monsoon and the weather is not the best to be at sea. Endurance must be backed up by the physical and mental state of mind. The team had to be prepared to face these conditions. Our vessel R/V LAMITIE , had 5 experienced crew members confident to steer us to the correct point at sea and not forgetting the chef who ensured that we are well fed to have enough energy to survive those long days.

Our preparation started well in advance, preparing the lines, hooks and baits – excitement swells in as our aim was to achieve our goals. I who had previously had some fishing experience on big fishing boats knew what we had to do and what to expect.

The afternoon of the 6th of August at 4:00 pm at the SFA port, we set off. We began fishing at first light on the North side of Mahe, however due to the sea conditions at the time it was very hard to fish with the handlines because the current was too strong thus drifting our lines away. On the other hand, me and my colleagues were using rods with jigs which proved to work better.

we needed to keep the fish alive,our strategy was to hold sea water in the hull of the boat which we had to pump from the ocean as we sailed to and from the fishing spots. To ensure that there is constant oxygen we had to have oxygen bottles supplies which diffused air through air stones throughout the trip. It was essential that we monitor the water quality constantly and as such we had our equipment with us – our oxygen probe.

On the way back to main land, we had to confirm with our team on Mahe to prepare for our arrival into Providence Port. The idea was for us to dock as close as possible to the BAQF and remove each fish in a plastic sling to safeguard the fishes by avoiding to remove the slime coat during transportation. The BAQF would be the facility whereby they would be placed in for their long-term housing. Moreover, each fish was to be separated accordingly and managed to by the Aquaculture Technicians by applying their training skills acquired previously.

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