In March 2011, we conducted aerial assessments of Cay Sal Bank’s shallow marine habitats to collect on-site information that supports the remote sensing work that we do. The aerial surveys also allow us to obtain photographs of the landmasses and shallow underwater research. A month later, field research was conducted from the Golden Shadow, with small boats transporting the scientists to the research sites.
The team obtained detailed information on the characteristics of shallow marine habitats at Cay Sal Bank, identifying and measuring sediment types at drop-offs , blue holes, and sand shoals. The composition of the coral reef community was examined at 39 locations over 512 dives, looking at the bottom composition, the coral population, coral health, and composition and amount of fish.