One site was located near One Foot Island in the southeast corner of the lagoon. Many tour operators visit this site and fish are used to snorkelers in the water. The control site is located a few hundred meters further east, where I could already see that fish are not as interested in the bread that I used in my study. Besides stationary visual census I collect focal follow data on the bite rates of different fish species before, during and after bread feeding. Which fish love it and which dislike it?
To set this into a social context, I conducted interviews with local and tourist stakeholders: to feed or not to feed, what do you think?
The general consensus was surprising: Most local stakeholders consider feeding crucial for the happiness of tourists during snorkeling. Yet, tourists decided that feeding is not necessary in order to enjoy the lagoon cruise and the experience in the water. For all German speakers, find out more in a brief radio interview from the link below (minute 13:20 onwards):
And now we finally published this work in a special issue of Frontiers in Marine Science:
To feed or not to feed?