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BTT Expands Research & Education Programs in Long Island, Bahamas

Bahamas Initiative Manager Justin Lewis recently teamed up with BTT Conservation Captain Markk Cartwright and Nevin Knowles from Long Island Bonefishing Lodge to dart tag over 500 bonefish. On the trip, they also managed to recapture several fish that were previously tagged by Markk, who has tagged over 300 bonefish fishing on his own and with his clients. Markk has been a leader in advocating for the conservation of bonefish and their habitat in Long Island.

Justin also had the opportunity to present to three local schools: Simms Primary, Glinton’s Primary, and NGM Major High School. All three schools participate in the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Discovery Club Program, which includes the flats ecosystem curriculum jointly developed by BNT and BTT. Justin spoke at length to the students and teachers about bonefish biology, flats ecology, and the importance of conservation.

While presenting to students at NGM Major High School, Justin learned that the geography class was completing a project on the flats environment and had recently taken a field trip to visit the local flats, where one of the students landed a tagged bonefish on fly. The fish was recaptured in the same area where it was tagged by Markk and Justin only a few months earlier, underscoring the fact that bonefish have small home ranges.

This recapture by a student angler is a great example of the intersection between BTT’s research and education efforts. In the coming months, Justin will return to Long Island to give more school presentations and lead students and teachers on field trips to the flats.

We thank BTT Conservation Captain Markk Cartwright and Nevin Knowles of Long Island Bonefishing Lodge for helping facilitate the trips and all of the teachers who took time out of their busy schedules to give their students the opportunity to learn more about the importance of the flats ecosystem and the bonefish fishery. Photo: Justin Lewis