Expedition coral reefs Saba Bank 2015

17 - 24 October 2015

In the autumn of 2015, researchers of IMARES will work together on reef monitoring with researchers from other institutes on the largest coral reef of The Netherlands on Saba. The Saba Bank is an extremely rich area with very high biodiversity of fish, coral, algae and sponges. Expedition leader Erik Meesters will post updates in a blog, so you can follow the expedition:

The Saba Bank is the largest undersea atoll in the Caribbean and one of the largest in the world (2000km). Along the edge of the bank there are extensive coral reefs. The corals provide the three-dimensional structure where all the other plants and animals live. They are the building blocks of the Bank.

Expedition coral reefs Saba Bank

During this expedition, 10 places on the Saba Bank will be visited that were sampled during earlier expeditions. In these places recordings will be made to investigate whether there have been changes in the covering of soil by corals and other organisms. Also, the composition and biomass of the existing fish communities is examined.

Onderzoek Sababank (Foto: Erik Meesters)

Particular attention will be paid to the sponges of the Saba Bank. Furthermore, with drop cameras, other parts of the reef will be photographed. Together with researchers from NIOZ, productivity of the reef will be examined to determine whether and how quickly it grows and how bio-erosion occurs.

Onderzoek Sababank (Foto: Erik Meesters)

Participants Exedition coral reefs Saba Bank

Erik Meesters IMARES Project leader
Ingrid van Beek IMARES Fish monitoring
Lisa Becking IMARES Sponges
Oscar Bos IMARES Sponges
Didier Bakker IMARES Coral bioerosion
Fleur van Duyl NIOZ Coral calcification
Alice Webb NIOZ Coral bioerosion
Steven van Heuven NIOZ Coral calcification
Franck Mazeas DEAL Gouadeloupe Coral monitoring
Jean-Philippe Marechal OMMM Martinique Coral monitoring
Steve Piontek LVV Statia Fish monitoring
Tadzio Berevoets St. Maarten Fish monitoring
Ingvild Harkes WWF
David Stevens WWF