Scientists Explore the Wonders of Redonda

A view of Redonda (by Ralph Pano)
Scientists at work at Redonda (by Joe Lepore)

Researchers from the Waitt Institute, Scripps Institute Oceanography, and Antigua and Barbuda’s Ministry of Health and Environment have completed a scientific expedition to the island of Redonda.

Dr. Stuart Sandin from the San Diego-based Scripps Institution of Oceanography led the two-day expedition that explored the health of Redonda’s marine environment. Scientists conducted marine surveys to explore the island’s coral reef and fish biodiversity.

“Collecting these data is a critical step to better understand local fisheries and ways to protect them” says Mr. Andy Estep, the Waitt Institute’s Science and Field Manager. “Over the past years, the Waitt Institute has done extensive scientific research in the near-shore waters of Barbuda and Montserrat. We are thrilled to continue surveying other sites to get a more holistic picture of the region’s marine environment, particularly Redonda, this environmental jewel of Antigua & Barbuda.”

Two local scientists from Antigua participated in the research cruise, Mr. Ruleo Camacho and Ms. Amelia Bird. Both work for Antigua and Barbuda’s Ministry of Health and Environment. Mr. Camacho said “Redonda is considered to be a biological hotspot within the Eastern Caribbean and this research allowed scientists and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to gain a better understanding of the ecological conditions around the island, and will better inform our management decisions in its regard.”

Mr Carmacho added “One of the highlights of this trip was working with individuals on behalf of Waitt [and] Scripps…a lot of technically skilled persons were involved in this trip. It was a really good learning experience and it really paved the wave.”

Ruleo Camacho conducting surveys (by Ralph Pano)

The expedition was made possible by the support of the Waitt Institute, also known for their work with the Barbuda Council and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda on the Barbuda Blue Halo Initiative.

The expedition took place aboard the the M/Y Plan b, which will be participating in the Antigua Charter Yacht Show in early December 2016.