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Sediment Traps (1st Deployment)

By Esther

Yesterday Scott, Jacques, and I set out on a mission to lay 15 sediment traps for our conservation project research. The sediment traps were a full day construction project which had Jacques learning how to make cement and then getting messy with PVC piping and drilling holes! In the end we had a full set of sediment traps (foot long cylindrical wells) all labelled and ready to be nailed to the Benthic zone of the monitoring sites. We selected Dive Master Choice, Dixies, and Turtle Crossing as our monitoring dive sites and labeled 5 traps for each site to be placed at the mooring line and then one placed 10 kick cycles to the North, East, South, and West respectively.

As it turned out laying sediment traps demanded more from the group than we anticipated; Scott sacrificed a lot of skin on his hammering hand to secure the traps at DMC, I learnt the hard way that dumping the air from my BCD while holding the makeshift hammer (a 10Kg weight!) without enough hands to equalise results in mildly bruised ears, and Jacq discovered that the energy required to hammer in the nails meant he sucked his air much faster than normal...luckily we are responsible divers and surfaced with a good reserve pressure in our tanks...more or less! We all returned mostly in one piece, and its is all in the name of science so totally worth it!

The aim is to leave the sediment traps in place for six weeks and then retrieve them and collect the data. Watch out for a blog in a month’s time for the sediment trap salvage mission!

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