Here’s why you should go to Statia (St Eustatius, Caribbean Netherlands):
Promo video: St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (land)This promotional clip for STENAPA (St Eustatius National Parks Foundation) shows the natural and cultural beauty of Statia, Caribbean Netherlands.
Three National Park areas protect the high biodiversity and unique tropical ecosystems present on both land and sea and the total protected area covers 33km2 - almost twice the size of the island of St Eustatius. The national parks system was initiated by the Island Government in 1996 to protect diverse habitats on and around the island. The Government delegated management authority for the parks to a local NGO – St Eustatius National Parks Foundation. Numerous endangered or critically endangered species are protected through active research and monitoring programmes, including three species of sea turtles, the Antillean Iguana, Red Bellied Racer Snake, orchids, cacti and the endemic vine ‘Statia Morning Glory’.
#Statia #Caribbean #island
#StEustatius #Netherlands #Dutch #STENAPA #nature #culture #nationalpark #land #sea #protect #travel #beautiful
Promo video: St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (marine park)This promotional clip for STENAPA (St Eustatius National Parks Foundation) shows the work of staff and volunteers in the marine park of Statia/Caribbean Netherlands.
The St Eustatius National Marine Park was created in 1996 and extends around the entire island from the high water line to the 30m depth contour. The park covers an area of 27.5km2 and protects a variety of habitats, including pristine coral reefs (drop off walls, volcanic ‘fingers’ and ‘bombs’, spur and groove systems), 18th-century shipwrecks and modern-day artificial reefs to promote fishing and dive tourism (including a 100m cable-laying ship).
Within the Park are two actively managed Reserves in which no fishing or anchoring is permitted to conserve marine biodiversity, protect fish stocks and promote sustainable tourism. In addition to regular mooring maintenance, patrols and research, the National Marine Park works closely with local dive centres to ensure that diving practices minimise the impact on the reef.
In general, we prefer to see our fishes alive and well. However, the local reef population in the Caribbean is under attack. Park rangers and volunteers are hunting lionfish as this invasive species destroys the natural balance of local reef life. Reproducing quickly and feasting on each and every fish they can suck into their mouth. There are no natural predators (yet) so humans have to clean up the mess they are also responsible for.
#Statia #Caribbean #diving
#StEustatius #Netherlands #Dutch #STENAPA #nature #underwater #nationalpark #volunteer #sea #protect #lionfish #ranger
Promo video: St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (marine life)This promotional clip for STENAPA (St Eustatius National Parks Foundation) shows the underwater world in the marine park of Statia/Caribbean Netherlands.
The St Eustatius National Marine Park was created in 1996 and extends around the entire island from the high water line to 30m depth contour. The park covers an area of 27.5km2 and protects a variety of habitats, including pristine coral reefs (drop off walls, volcanic ‘fingers’ and ‘bombs’, spur and groove systems), 18th century shipwrecks and modern-day artificial reefs to promote fishing and dive tourism (including a 100m cable-laying ship).
Within the Park are two actively-managed Reserves in which no fishing or anchoring is permitted to conserve marine biodiversity, protect fish stocks and promote sustainable tourism. In addition to regular mooring maintenance, patrols and research, the National Marine Park works closely with local dive centres to ensure that diving practices minimise impact on the reef.
#Statia #Caribbean #diving
#StEustatius #Netherlands #Dutch #STENAPA #nature #underwater #nationalpark #reef #ocean #protect #travel #island
Statia Baby Shower (hawksbill turtles)On a beautiful morning in October, we attended a fabulous baby shower, when these Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) were hatching out of a nest at the beach in front of Scubaqua Dive Center, on the Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius (Statia). The birth of these gorgeous little creatures was overseen, and documented by the St. Eustatius National Park Foundation (STENAPA). There are at least 3 species of endangered turtles that come to nest on this little known gem of a Caribbean island, that is most definitely worth a visit!
For more information on marine species and tropical destinations browse through www.devocean-pictures.com
#hawksbillturtle #Eretmochelysimbricata #turtle #SintEustatius #babyshower #babyturtle #DevoceanPictures #STENAPA #Scubaqua #caribbean #hawksbill #nest #hatching #Statia #Eustatius
Take a Minute XXXV: Roughhead Blenny (Acanthemblemaria aspera)In this minute of relaxation, we would like to introduce you to a creature, that despite being quite the character, is often overlooked by most that visit the tropical reefs of the Caribbean. This rather ragged-looking creature is a fish, that goes by the scientific name of Acanthemblemaria aspera. Since this is quite the tongue twister, it thankfully has an alias in the common tongue that is much easier to pronounce, namely Roughhead Blenny. Looking at the creature, it’s easy to understand how this name came to be. The so-called “roughness” refers to the slender appendages/hair-like growth on the blenny’s head named “cirri”. Incidentally, the word “cirri” is derived from the plural version of the high altitude cirrus cloud, which are able to create these beautiful, whispy, and streaky patterns in the sky. Just to give you an idea, of how awesome its haircut is!
Some might say that Roughheads look a bit pre-historical in its appearance, and they wouldn’t be wrong with that observation. Fossiles of Blennies date back to the Paleogene period, which started about 65 million years ago. To put that in perspective, that is around the time Keith Richards was born!
If one intends to admire Acanthemblemaria aspera in all its glory, as well as its amazing haircut, of course, it would probably be best to bring some form of magnification device, be it a macro lens or a magnifying glass, for this funky little fish grows to a maximum size of 4cm/1”. They inhabit shallow coastal waters from 2-20m/6-60ft and are not overly picky about where they live. They are known as burrow creatures and find a place to live in just about every nook and cranny of the reef, if not in the corals themselves. Not that they construct their own burrows, but more that they occupy holes left by other marine life, like worms and molluscs. A bit like a squatter with good hair, so to say. Although some of them have been known to bury themselves in the seafloor.
They come in many different colour variations, and can adapt their colouration to blend into any neighbourhood they happen to find themselves in. That being said, the females are often more lightly coloured. They’re oviparous, and after mating the female covers the walls of the male’s burrow with her eggs, and leaves them for him to defend until they hatch. After which the young fry go through a 22-day pelagic phase, and eventually settle down in a new area to find a home for themselves. They have excellent eyesight and prefer to dine on drifting, floating, or falling amphipods and/or copepods, that happen to pass by their burrows. This “hunting” action results in a kind of swaying head movement, which has led to the creature’s nickname, the “Stevie Wonder Fish”.
Another stunning creature, in another beautiful part of this amazing blue planet!
#underwater #Roughheadblenny #marinelife #relax #St.Eustatius #TakeaMinute #scubadiving #Scubaquadivecenter #Statia #Acanthemblemaria #blenny #macro #PanasonicLumix #GH5s #Nauticam
Take a Minute to Relax XXXVII: Slender Filefish (Monacanthus tuckeri)In this minute of relaxation, we bring you another Caribbean addition to this series. The small but beautiful Monacanthus tuckeri, a.k.a. the Slender filefish.
Although most individuals encountered, range between 2-5cm in length, they can potentially grow up to 10cm! They have laterally compressed, slender, elongated bodies, with a tapered snout, and protruding eyes that are located high on their heads. Filefish have a slender retractable spine on top of their heads, which is incorporated in their first dorsal fin. This spine/dorsal fin actually contains two spines, whereby the second far smaller one, is used solely to lock the first spine into its upright position. This explains the family name Monacanthidae, from the Greek "monos" meaning "one" and "akantha" meaning "thorn".
Like their cousins the triggerfish, filefish have small gill openings and their pelvic fins are lacking. Instead, there is an extension of the pelvic bone, known as the pelvic rudiment, with skin attached to it. This "pelvic girdle" is capable of moving up and down in many species, to form a large “dewlap”, which can make Monacanthus appear much larger than it actually is. Some filefish erect the dorsal spine and pelvis simultaneously to lodge themselves into place, making it more difficult for a predator to remove the fish from its shelter. It may also be used for communication purposes with other filefish.
The small mouths of this creature have specialized incisor teeth, on the upper and lower jaw. In the upper jaw, there are four teeth in the inner series and six in the outer series; in the lower jaw, there are 4-6 in the outer series only. These teeth allow them to be opportunistic omnivores, that dine on macroalgae, filamentous algae, seagrasses, coralline algae, sponges, hydrozoans, bryozoans, and tunicates. A small portion of their diets includes foraminiferans (shelled protozoa), polychaete worms, smaller species of bivalves, snails, ostracods, amphipods, and shrimp.
They have non-overlapping scales that bear “spicules”, which are small, needle-like anatomical structures, protruding from the centre of each scale, giving them the rough and tough, sand-papery skin, that together with its body shape inspired the filefish's common name. Monacanthus isn’t a particularly strong swimmer, and relies more on crypsis, camouflage, and hiding, to avoid being eaten. Slender filefish are often found around soft corals, like sea whips, rods, and fans, but also in seagrass, hydroids and algae, where they align their movements perfectly with that of the ocean’s swell. Despite lacking the power, their body shape allows them to manoeuvre effortlessly around these complex environments. They love hanging out vertically in the water column, and on top of that, these incredible fish can quickly change their colouration and patterns, making them not easy to find.
But when you find one of these small ocean dancers, enjoy their performance for as long as you can! For it might all be over, in the blink of an eye…
#Slenderfilefish #dive #caribbean #underwater #StEustatius #STENAPA #CNSI #Scubaqua #Statia #Monacanthustuckeri #marinelife #macro #filefish #GH5s #Nauticam
We are missing our floppy reef with the friendly turtles, massive french angelfish, cute cowfish, beloved eagle rays, and sharkies. Just to name a few.