Bonaire Eels dying

Discussion in 'Bonaire' started by BonaireDan, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. BonaireDan

    BonaireDan Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ohio, retiring to Bonaire within 5 years
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    Just returned from Bonaire and for the first time noticed dead eels on various dives at fairly shallow depths. Primarily the speckled and green morays it seems. Check out topics on Bonairetalk.com for more details but this observation seemed to start about mid-Spetember. The local marine biologists are starting an investigation and have listed some 15-20 dead eel sightings with dive site, depth, species, etc. Jerry Ligon is apparently taking the lead. Anyone headed to Bonaire should keep an eye out to report specific information to STINAPA and Jerry. On the Omar side of the equation some damage, lots of sand on the reefs, altered entries of course, missing docks, damaged beechside bars (way too bad !) and such.
     
  2. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Wow.....what a DB

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    I too just returned from Bonaire and was fortunate to not have personally seen dead eels laying around. I was warned of it and asked to report any that I found but came accross none thankfully. What I did notice.....I saw almost no moray eels. I only logged 11 dives because of Hurricane Omar (which pretty much started "over" Bonaire), but on those 11 I have a whopping grand total of 4 moray eel sightings. Last year I logged 24 dives and saw probably 5-10 per dive. This really stood out for me. It is sad that this is happening because I think they are a wonderful creature. Hopefully they can figure out exactly what is happening and reverse it quickly.
     
  3. RonFrank

    RonFrank Orca

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    Location: Conifer, CO
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    This is some sad news. While Eels are a bit strange, they are beautiful in their own way, and one of my favorite subjects. I hope they can discover what is killing them. I think they can live around 13 years.
     
  4. scuba_drum

    scuba_drum Divemaster

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    I was down on Bonaire the same time ScubaSteve was and I never saw any dead eels. I actually saw some very pretty eels, glad I didn't see any dead ones and hope they find out what the problem is! I love seeing eels, saw a LARGE green moray down by the lighthouse and many others, although small comparatively to other places I've been diving. I saw a bright white moray with black spots on a night dive, it was beautiful. Never seen one so white!
     
  5. herman

    herman Divemaster

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    Hope it's not a big problem. We found a large 6-8 ft green one dead last Aug at Old Blue but that was the only one in 2 weeks of diving.
     
  6. BonaireDan

    BonaireDan Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ohio, retiring to Bonaire within 5 years
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    Thanks for the feedback on dying eels on Bonaire. As ScubaSteve said I also saw few green morays on the west side comapared to previous trips. Plenty of green morays on the east side however diving with Larry. Keep an eye on the blogs from Bonairetalk.com for more updates on this issue. It seems there is concern about pollutants from sewage and other run off that may be the problem.
     
  7. JoyfulNoise

    JoyfulNoise Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
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    I also hope they figure out what is going on. I love spotting eels and often photography and video them. Such beautiful creatures especially if you get lucky and find one swimming. I hope to go to Bonaire next year, I heard wonderful things about the diving there!
     
  8. kmcneer

    kmcneer Divemaster

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    Location: Austin
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    I saw a dead black and white eel at Andria 2 in Sept. But also saw a lot of live white ones a few black and white, and 3 very large green free swimming moray's one at divi house reef and 2 at alice in wonderland.
     
  9. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Orca

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    What has changed that they are now having problems with sewage/runoff?
     
  10. BonaireDan

    BonaireDan Scuba Instructor

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    Location: Ohio, retiring to Bonaire within 5 years
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    Here is the latest dead eel report from Jerry Ligon, biologist on Bonaire:
    species number dead date dive site
    Spotted Moray 1 12sept08 Buddy's
    Spotted Moray 1 22aug Tolo (Old Blue
    Spotted Moray 22aug Karpata
    Spotted Moray 4 6sept Andrea 2
    Spotted Moray 1 3sept oil slick
    Spotted Moray 1 17sept Bari
    Spotted Moray 1 24sept Bari
    Spotted Moray 1 28sept Bari
    spotted Moray1 1 28sept capt dons
    Spotted Moray 1 30sept bachelor beach
    Spotted Moray 3 6Oct Chez Hine
    Spotted Moray 1 6Oct Jerry's Sponge
    Spotted Moray 1 6Oct Andrea 1
    Spotted Moray 1 8Oct Bari
    Spotted Moray 1 9Oct Some. Special
    spotted Moray1 1 12Oct Jeff Davis
    Spotted Moray 1 17 Oct First after Omar
    spotted Moray1 1 19 Oct Knife
    spotted Moray1 1 20 Oct SW Corner
    Spotted Moray 1 20 Oct Calabas
    Spotted Moray 1 21Oct Angel City Turned in CIEE
    Spotted Moray 2 22Oct East Coast
    Spotted Moray 1 24 Oct Bari
    spotted Moray 1 2 27 Oct Something Sp- CIEE
    Spotted Moray 1 26 Oct Angel City
    Spotted Moray 2 27 Oct 1 turned in CIEE
    Sharp-tail 1 8sept small wall
    Sharp-tail 1 8sept andrea2
    green moray 1 13aug ?
    green moray 1 25sept Ebo's
    green moray 1 30sept donkey beach
    green moray 1 28july witch's hut
    green moray? 1 30sept 1000 steps
    green moray 1 7Oct SW Corner
    green moray 1 ear. Oct South Bay
    viper moray 2 25sept Tory's
    viper moray 1 23sept front porch
    viper moray 1 20sept Andrea 1
    viper moray 1 27 Oct Something Sp-CIEE
    Chain Moray 1 1Oct front porch
    Purple-mouth 1 25 Oct Something Sp- CIEE
    Goldentail 1 Karpata ear. Oct

    Total 50 Through 27 Oct
    NOTE: Few Purple-mouths, Golden-tails, Vipers, Chains on the DEAD list. ALso, I have seen few Yellow-headed Jawfish lately. Are these pertinent bits of the puzzle?? Jerry C Ligon
     
  11. WVDiver

    WVDiver Scuba Instructor

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    Too bad about the eels. Being a biologist myself I am always curious and interested in things of this nature. Keep the updates coming.
     
  12. Rescue Diver68

    Rescue Diver68 Scuba Instructor

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    We saw three dead on Bari last week. Two were spotted and one was just a steely grey color, not sure the type.
     
  13. robint

    robint Orca

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    that is so weird. :confused: Why would it be eels and not other fish if it is pollution? What is it about eels that makes them different than other species of fish?

    I am starting to wonder if it isn't something being intentionally fed to the eels by a diver! :shocked2: As I am sure all of you know, eels have very bad eyesight and it is easy to swim right up to them. I wonder if some A%&^hole is feeding them something toxic. Just a thought. :shakehead:
     
  14. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Wow.....what a DB

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    Obviously nobody knows for sure but this is a scenario that I doubt. It is definitely possible but in my eyes, unlikely. If you look closely at much of our world, their is an intricate balance in place and with many things, just a small sway off to one side and everything changes. It could very well be that way with the eels. They may be more succeptable to something in the "Waste Water" (this is a nice name for a bad thing) than other fish species. It could be that the levels are below the "toxic" level for other species but they may see others dying off if it increases. Who knows....nobody for sure at this point.


     
  15. driftwood

    driftwood Surface Interval Member

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    It shouldn't be waste water directly affecting the eels. In Akumal the middle and outer reefs have pretty much been killed off by runoff and about the only thing left are the morrays.
     
  16. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Wow.....what a DB

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    I was only trying to get accross that nobody knows what the problem is however each species is affected differently. However, I do not think we can rule out waste water either. Bottom line is, nobody knows for sure.

     
  17. ronski101

    ronski101 Barracuda

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    got back last night and saw 0 dead ones and about 1-2 live eels per Bonaire island dive. No greens but mostly the speckled or small brown ones. did about 10 dives on Klein and never saw one eel on any of those dives. Never have seen a dead eel as they are probably eaten up pretty fast by the local fauna population.
     
  18. nicnac

    nicnac Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: UK
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    I saw a big dead moray at Oilslick on 13th Sept, but didn't mention it on BT because someone already had, although I don't see it on the published list.. I have a photo if that helps?
     
  19. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Wow.....what a DB

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    If you mentioned that on BT they would delete the thread until you could produce a Police Report....:D just kidding :joke:. Just trying to lighten up an sad topic. In all seriousness though, you could let the people at BDA know because I know the "Marine Biologist" there is keeping official record of the incidents (so they said when I was there in October).
     
  20. tejasdiver

    tejasdiver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Jefferson, Texas
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    We were in Bonaire in August, and saw 3 dead eels. would have to go back through my logbook to see what reefs they were at.
     

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