By devoting their lives to save an iconic fish in the Caribbean, the marine biologists were considered the scuba diving heroes in 2019.
For more than a decade, Christy Pattengill and Brice Semmens have sacrified tremendously to save the iconic ocean species. They met each other in 1993 in Florida Keys in their college. They collaborated in the early testing and development for the Volunteer Fish Survey Project of Reef Environmental Education Foundation. After working for this program devotedly, Christy was hired to work for REEF as the first staff scientist. Meanwhile, Brice becomes the director of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations and the professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
For fifteen years, the two have work to save the Cayman Islands’ Nassau grouper. The Nassau grouper is a kind of predator, which plays an important role in the ecosystem of the Caribbean. Due to the fisheries from Bermuda to the Mexican Caribbean, for more than ten years, this species was harmed and endangered.
When dangers are in everywhere, Cayman Island becomes the peaceful place for this species. Although fishing cannot be absolutely prohibited there, during the fiften years, there are research and education activities in the island, that saved the life of this fish. Christy Pattengill and Brice Semmens are the people who carried out the meaningful activities and helped protect the species.
For them, the most challenging to marine conservation today is to manage the strategies to balance the conservation and human use of the marine sources. It is easy to say, but harder to take actions. Fisheries cannot be banned, but they need to be controlled.