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

Which conservation organisations operate on Utila?   As a Marine Conservation Intern with the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Centre (WSORC), I have had many opportunities over the past three weeks to participate in a variety of different conservation initiatives. There are lots of different conservation organizations on Utila, both long […]

The status of conservation on Utila

Do you know the difference between a rock hind and a graysby grouper? Or a longspine and a reef squirrelfish? . Well, before the start of my time as an intern at WSORC in Utila, I definitely could not…. My fish identification skills consisted of anything I had picked up […]

Why you should learn to fish ID

A number of months ago I decided to take some time out of corporate life and volunteer for 4 weeks at the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Centre (WSORC) on Utila. In the lead up I was extremely excited about getting the chance to swim with whale sharks. . I realised when […]

How to Spot a Whale Shark