Scientific cruise in the Scattered Islands

In April 2019, I was co-leading a scientific mission for the MEGAFAUNA project that focuses on remote seamounts and islands as the last refuge for marine biodiversity during a scientific cruise organized by the TAAF in the Scattered Islands (Southwestern Indian Ocean). This project involved 11 scientists under a collaboration between University of Montpellier, Lancaster University, ETH Zurich and SPYGEN. 

During our lab routine, we found green turtle hatchlings (Chelonia mydas) in the gut content of two subadults two-spots red snappers (Lutjanus bohar) while this trophic link has not been previously described. Lutjanus bohar is a large reef fish widely distributed across the tropical Indo-Pacific which feed on diverse organisms however, marine turtle hatchlings have never been listed among their preys. Thus, L. bohar can be involved in the regulation of endangered marine turtle populations by applying an unexpected predation pressure. 

You can read the full scientific article here

Here is a quick photo reportage on the highlights of our work! Pictures were taken by our team (photo: E Maire, JB Juhel, C Albouy)