Thursday, 8 December 2011

Our Underwater Meadow

There are 58 different types of seagrass found around the world but the British Virgin Islands are home to only five different species. The most common seagrasses found in the BVI are turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) and manatee grass (Syringodium filiforme).

Cooper Island's Manchioneel Bay is extremely lucky to have Seagrass stretching along it's bay. These unusual marine flowering plants are called seagrasses because in many species the leaves are long and narrow, and these plants often grow in large meadows.

Manchioneel Bay is protected by the BVI's Department of Environment and Fisheries as one of the seven permanent Seagrass monitoring sites. This means that anchoring is not permitted.

The sheltered habitat can provide ideal nurseries for juvenile fish hiding from predators and thereby increasing their survival rate. Seahorses, Green Sea Turtles, Parrotfish, Barracudas and Sting Rays to name a few can also be found living amongst seagrass not to mention our our resident Spotted Eagle Ray!

Grab your snorkel and see what you can find!