Silencing of the Reefs, Dardanella, Belize

Jana is staying on the vessel Dardanella to record reefs and mangrove habitats for the ongoing project Silencing of the reefs in collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary.

Silencing of the Reefs is an ongoing project that investigates the soundscapes of reefs and their neighbouring ecosystems.

Reefs are under stress; they have ecosystems that are very sensitive to changes in temperature, acidification and also to sound pollution. How well can these habitats adapt to the rapid change they are experiencing today? Are the changes too fast to adjust to, and are we just documenting the changes happening without being able to do anything about them? Will the reefs be silenced before we even have had the chance to listen to them and even begin to fully understand these fragile ecosystems?

4 December, from Miami to Belize City

Melanie McField lauched the Healthy Reef Initiative Report Card where Jana also did a presentation of the Silencing of the Reefs project.

5 December, from Belize City to Placencia

Recording with Sound Field microphone on the way, B-format and stereo

Afternoon by Placencia, recording with Sander in Placencia Bay, heard a dolphin. Recorded with 2 x Reson 4032 on a Sound Devices 477T recorder. Travelled into the mangroves up form Placencia Lagoone. Crackling sound from crustaceans seems to reduce in the mangrove rivers, though not disappearing completely.

6 December

Meeting with Sharon and Horace at 09.00 to plan sites and a trip into the mangroves up by Sittee river on the 9 December.

12.00 Listening for Manatees, they held their distance because of earlier experiences with propellers, many of them have scars on their back. Depth in these areas are around 3-7 feet. I could hear them grassing on sea grass. Made a stereo recording of them. We saw at least 12 of them surfacing.

14.00 Recorded also at the reef outside of Placencia, closer description of site will come here with coordinates. Immediately heard Toadfish with 5 different tones in its call. They have appeared on all reefs, easy to hear but difficult to spot when snorkeling.

Trying out different ways of avoiding noise from the boat itself, using noodles to float the cables away from the boat.

7 December, more info here soon

8 December
Sittee river with Horace, Sharon and Sander

(Sittee river)

Made recordings at fresh water inlets and at 5 different sites from Sappodilla Lagoon up the river. Small fish population had gotten much less the later years. The development on Sapodilla Lagoon has been filling up the mangroves and will be influencing the life along the coast here.

9 December
Recorded echolocation sounds from a group of 5 dolphins circling the tender for almost one hour.

Recording at the furthest Iceland towards South East, by the Pelicans. Afternoon recording at reef closer by, trying out different setups for 4 track recordings.

10 December

Recording dolphins echolocation sounds in the early morning. A group of 5 dolphins seems to appear every morning and around 4 in the same locations. Recording manatees in sea grass habitats, 2 track recordings. Recorded dolphin echolocation sounds on the way to Pelican Caye, though boat noise were too load. Possibly the Pantropical spotted dolphin. Will check this closer.

11 December

Recording at two sites by the barrier reef. Will update with GPS coordinates shortly. Working out ways to record 4 track with a rig made by Sander.

On the way to Carrie Bow Cay Field Station on the Meso-American Barrier Reef .

12 December

Recording at Pelican Caye in mangroves, reef and sea grass habitats. The mangroves were covered by plastic rubbish. GoPro photos by Melanie McField.

From Pelican Bey to Placencia with Dardanella

13 December
Leaving from Placencia by plane to Belize City, to Miami and then to Kopenhagen via London.

Jana Winderen: Reeffish 02