Featured Image Credit: Cayman Compass
By Sarah Sharkey
Sir Richard Branson and Guy Harvey went diving earlier this year to witness the Nassau groupers’ spawning aggregation.
This massive annual event takes place under the February full moon. It is a large and predictable event that makes the Nassau groupers a target for fishermen.
Unfortunately, this targeting of spawning groupers has lead to the grouper populations to be devastatingly overfished in the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean.
Sir Branson and Guy Harvey have worked together on several occasions for marine conversation issues. Last year they spoke together at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit about ocean conversation. They have also collaborated on projects such as the Caribbean Challenge Initiative and the Guy Harvey Great Shark Race.
The two rock star conservationists were joined by REEF representatives. REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) has worked for 15 years to protect and monitor groupers and their aggregation site. Guy Harvey’s foundation has also worked to protect this important spawning aggregation. Sir Branson’s involvement and interest in this year’s aggregation is important because he helps to bring awareness to the threats facing this species.
Awareness is important in order to bring change, hopefully a change that will help to keep these fish around for a long time!