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Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity
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Young Nassau groupers take advantage of BioHuts in Saint-Martin

In June 2020, the Saint-Martin Nature Reserve Management Association carried out its quarterly follow-up on the BioHuts, these artificial nurseries set up with the aim of promoting the recolonization of fish on the island and in particular of certain groupers like the Nassau Grouper and the Atlantic Goliath Grouper.

Diving during the quarterly follow-ups on the BioHuts © AGRNSM

Quarterly monitoring results

During this monitoring, AGRNSM observed a very strong colonization by fish in general and some juvenile Nassau grouper, which is very good news for this critically endangered species. On the other hand, the BioHuts placed in the mangroves seem to have disappeared, no longer allowing monitoring in this area.

The BioHuts

BioHuts are artificial nurseries: small, highly complex habitats set up to allow young larval stages to hide from predators and grow safely.

These BioHuts limit predation by allowing juveniles or post-larvae to hide within this system of barriers blocking the passage of large predators. Another benefit of this system is the supply of food within the habitat itself, becoming the support for the development of diverse flora and fauna (grids, empty oyster shells, coconut fiber ropes, etc.).

Easy to set up (40 BioHuts per day) and composed of wood, steel and mollusc shells, these BioHut can be installed on door infrastructures or marinas to restore the ecological function of nursery lost by leveling of the substrate.
In Saint-Martin, these artificial nurseries are installed on structures such as artificial habitats, anchorages, a pontoon and in the mangroves.

Ultimately, these biodiversity huts can contain more than 150 species of flora and fauna. These innovative devices will make it possible to monitor the arrivals of groupers and other species of fish, which have escaped the CARE (light collectors).

To find out more about the actions taken to protect the Nassau Grouper and the Atlantic Goliath Grouper