Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ok, time to turn the blog over to Kirk Gastrich and Jeremy Kiszka who just returned from a trip to Tanzania where they conducted a rapid ecosystem assessment of the Ruvu estuary.  They are still going through their pictures so we will roll them out as fast as we can!

June 17th
Day 1… off to Bagamoyo!  In the morning we were met at the Tamigamiga Hotel in Kawe Beach, Dar es Salaam, by our driver and Mukama, a fish biologist from Tanzania.  On our way to Bagamoyo we stopped at the University of Dar es Salaam’s aquatic center to pick up the buoys and anchors we will need to properly deploy our longline gear.  After a very interesting drive we arrived in the town of Bagamoyo.  Our guest house, the Downtown Bagamoyo Lodge, was in the center of the small town “where all the action is” as one of our Tanzanian colleagues so aptly put it.  We quickly came to realize the truth of her statement as there was, at all hours, a seemingly endless supply of swiftly traveling  motorbikes always quick to honk their horns… always!!!  After we settled into our rooms we stocked up on some bottled water since the water from the taps was not always good to drink.  Shortly after, we met with some local people from the Basin to introduce ourselves and present our ideas for the project.  A small inflatable boat with a 25hp Yamy has been brought by the Basin, but is not likely to be usable for transect and fishing surveys. We will try to use it for preliminary surveys and to map out transects in the Ruvu River until we can sort out another boat. We also visited a fish market that showed some great diversity of pelagic teleosts caught by the local fisherman in the coastal waters… can’t wait to get our own gear soaking and see what we catch!!!  Oh yeah I almost forgot, we need to learn some Swahili and fast (especially Kirk)!!!  Hakuna matata!!!

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