Category Archives : Uncategorized

As I write this, I have three days left in my internship at the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center. I’ve had some wonderful times here, between fighting off an overly curious moray eel, guiding newly-hatched hawksbill turtles into the ocean, and just experiencing life on Utila. But I will leave […]

Paradise Lost?

I have been reading a book by Alanna Mitchell entitled “Sea Sick” that discusses various ecological crises at different marine locations around the world. There was a line in the book that read:   “If all life on land were to vanish tomorrow, creatures in the ocean would flourish. But […]

Why the ocean matters

Where can I even start describing my first few weeks on this crazy and beautiful island? I have fallen in love with Utila. I spent a couple of weeks here before I started my internship and had already decided Utila is a special place, but it has become even more special to […]

First impressions of Utila

As conservationists we cannot deal with all of the world’s environmental problems so sometimes, we must choose specific problems that we can contribute to resolving. How then do we decide which issues to address and which to ignore? Our general interests often play a role, as does our own experience, or how convenient a  particular […]

The apocryphal nature of a conservationist

Lionfish is an invasive species in the Caribbean. They don’t have natural predators and eat everything that fits in their mouth. Even cleaner shrimp are found in their big fat bellys. Yes big fat bellys, because they eat a lot more than they would in their natural habitat and therefore grow […]

The Lionfish Controversy

Overfishing is a huge problem throughout the world’s oceans. Fish are being removed faster than they can replenish themselves, and populations are dwindling. Aquaculture, or fish farming, could be a viable alternative to fishing, and at first it sounds like it could solve everything. Why take fish from the wild, when […]

The Challenges Facing Aquaculture

Overfishing is more of a problem then many people realize or even care about. More than 85% of fisheries have been pushed to or beyond their biological limit. Overfishing is the act of catching more fish than the population can replace through natural reproduction. It is often caused by poor fisheries management, extensive […]


The island of Utila isn’t a big one; at about 11 km long and 4 km across at its widest point, it’s the smallest of the Honduran Bay Islands. It mainly consists of mangroves, partially submerged, swamp-like forests that smell a little like an outhouse and that are nearly impossible […]

Mangroves on Utila

As a Research Assistant here at WSORC, I have been able to pursue several research projects, including lionfish surveys and diver impact monitoring. While the lionfish work has not started yet, I had the opportunity to start studying the impact recreational divers have on the reef. This has involved anonymously […]

The impact of diving