Explore the Sargasso Sea with the Nonsuch ExpeditionsLatest update July 6, 2019 Started on October 28, 2018
Scientists, photographers and filmmakers dive deeper into the Sargasso Sea exploring the biodiversity found within the floating communities of Sargassum circulating around Bermuda and the North Atlantic.
As ambassadors of the Sargasso Sea Commission the Nonsuch Expeditions Team aims to showcase and protect the Sargasso Sea.
The almighty Sargassum fish!
Though only 4 inches long, this stunning specimen is one of the largest that our Team has collected in the wild.
Generally the larger they get, the harder it is for them to hide in the Sargassum where they spend their lives and they eventually get predated upon.
Recently the Sargassum approaching Bermuda has been aggregating in mat form versus the usual spindrifts.
Thankfully they are not made up of the variety of Sargassum that is causing problems in the Caribbean and the Gulf, which is thus far rarely seen in the Sargasso Sea, though our Team is monitoring this on an ongoing basis.
Learn more by following our new Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/thesargassosea/
The mats of Sargassum washing up in Bermuda lately have been the largest and most sustained in recent memory. This has created problems in some cases and opportunities in others (especially for photography and filming). Please stay tuned for many more posts once we take a break from filming.
As a teaser here is the eye of a diminutive yet almighty Sargasso Fish as submitted to the Nat Geo One Shot, please follow and LIKE if you do :) https://on.natgeo.com/2WMrhaG
For World Oceans Day another photo from the series showcasing the importance of Sargassum and the Sargasso Sea as a nursery.
This one has a thumbnail sized juvenile Sargasso fish that sat there, eating the Flying fish fry as they hatched, even as we were filming.
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A White-tailed Tropicbird known in Bermuda as a "Longtail" has just returned from foraging in the Sargasso Sea and feeds a squid to its 1 week old chick in its nest on the Nonsuch Island Nature Reserve in Bermuda.
This clip was extracted from the 24/7 LIVE Streaming "Tropicbird Cam" a collaboration between the Nonsuch Expeditions, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Bermuda Governments Department of the Environment and Natural Resources.
Watch it LIVE and Learn More: www.nonsuchisland.com
The latest waves of Sargassum that have reached Bermuda have been full of fauna early in their life-cycles as documented by Nonsuch Expeditions Team Leader and Sargasso Sea Commission Ambassador Jean-Pierre Rouja in a series of photos.
In this photo is a gravid Sargassum Swimming Crab (of which there were numerous in our latest collection efforts) holding her eggs, along with strands of Flying Fish eggs that had been wrapped around the Sargasso weed (Sargassum natans) and were just about to hatch.
Learn more via the Nonsuch Expeditions: http://www.nonsuchisland.com
Whilst out on assignment, we collected fresh samples of Sargassum which contained a fair amount of fauna early on in their life cycles including some very small Sargassum Fish, clutches of Flying Fish roe and this gravid Sargassum Swimming Crab itself carrying eggs, which can be seen in this photo.
Learn more: www.nonsuchisland.com
The recent batches of sargassum reaching Bermuda contained a variety of fauna. As usual the variety of species and stages of their life cycles is affected by the time of year and other lesser known factors.
For example this week when collecting just south of Nonsuch Island, despite several hours of searching through patches of sargassum which was in relatively good condition, we primarily observed an abundance of shrimp, but very few crabs, and we only found 3 very small sargasso fish ranging from 8mm to 20mm.
We also found 3 very small, thumbnail sized octopus, which we do not see very often.
This is perfect timing for the Sargasso Sea Commission meetings taking place in Bermuda this week who we plan to take out on an Expedition including Nonsuch Island to meet the newly hatched Cahow chicks.
A nudibranch on sargassum collected by our favorite species collector Chris Flook and photographed by Jean-Pierre Rouja some time back.
Sargassum, after which the Sargasso Sea is named, is found in Bermuda's waters sporadically at different times of the year, so when it arrives we must make the most of the opportunity to study and document it.
We have been involved in multiple Expeditions documenting Sargassum Biodiversity including working with National Geographic, BBC Blue Planet / Natural History Unit and Silverback Films.
The challenge in all these cases is observing the habitat in its natural state prior to our boats or divers approaching and disturbing it, which invariably scares many of our larger Pelagic subjects away.
The plan is to use remote drop cameras along with a Trident and aerial drones as remote observation platforms, allowing us to observe and document a wider range of fauna.
Expedition Team Leader J-P Rouja is an Ambassador to the Sargasso Sea Commission and will use this Expedition for educational and public outreach.
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