The poor state of the bass Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB)* and plotting a future recovery makes understanding the behaviour of juvenile bass as important as ever. One of the many places they frequent is the seagrass meadows of the Solent – an important habitat for bass and many other fish species. Presently the seagrass appears to be in rapid decline, which could have unfortunate consequences for bass and the other inhabitants too. To better understand the situation, postgraduate student Joe Sargent is investigating the life stages, abundance and diversity of fish found there.
Back in April, BASS was delighted to announce a bursary award to assist Joe in researching the relationship between fish and the seagrass beds. The funding provided is a contribution to data logging, fish welfare and camera equipment that’s essential to the project‘s investigations.
We can now report that the equipment has been bought and Joe has been testing the equipment in the Solent. All appears well; the rig holds fast on the bottom as the tide covers the camera equipment, the camera is watertight and it’s broadcasting images from underwater. The first deployment in the seagrass beds is anticipated imminently and we’ll report any further news.
It looks like Joe will be using herring to attract passing fish. We wonder if that’ll prove to be the perfect bait?
Donovan Kelley and Graham Pickett bursary awards
BASS has a long and proud tradition of undertaking and supporting scientific research in bass biology, primarily to increase the knowledge base in this area but also to allow our members to become involved in bass research.
Applications are invited at any time from any individual or group involved in research on bass biology; for students, this would normally be at postgraduate level. Each award will usually be in the sum of £1,000, although the Society may, at its discretion, increase this amount up to £5,000.
Full details are here: https://www.ukbass.com/bass-bursary-awards/
Photo credits: Joe Sargent
* ICES/CIEM advice on sea bass for areas North Sea, English Channel, Irish Sea, Bristol Channel, Celtic Sea 2021