On most of my dive expeditions,
I’m just going down to observe.
But today I’m on a rescue mission. I’m going to rescue some
juvenile fish. This might be
hard to believe, but if I don’t go get them, they will surely
die. Hi, I’m Jonathan Bird and
welcome to my world! ( ♪ music ) You see, every year millions of
tropical fish eggs from the
Caribbean get caught in the gulf stream and take a ride up
north where they hatch and grow
for several months. And a lot of these juvenile
fish end up here off the coast
of Rhode Island, a long way from home, more than a thousand
miles from the Caribbean. The
problem is that when winter comes and this water gets cold,
they’ll die. So, every year the New England
Aquarium Dive Club organizes a
tropical fish rescue. People come from miles around try
their hand at collecting
tropical fish for the New
England Aquarium exhibits. So I’ve come down and
give it a try, but I’m a little
concerned because I have photograph lot of fish,
but never caught fish. I really
don’t know how to do it. I’m concerned, actually hurting
the fish. Michael Schruben who
is an expert in collecting tropical fish is going to help
me out. Michael can you tell me
is this hard? What do I need to know? It’s not hard. The biggest
thing is to be calm. I’ve got
all the tools and know where the fish are. I can show you
how to do it. Want to go? All right! Let’s go! All right Michael so show me
this gear you have here it’s
kind of interesting. Well it’s funny…the various
evolution of catching
tropicals. This is what I
started out with, which is a soda
bottle with end cut off of it.
If this were a rock you put the soda bottle down and you
just use your hand and get the
fish in and you can see what kind of fish he is. This is the
way I normally catch fish and
have been for a long time. And what it is– it’s a net and
trick is this is the containers
that everything ends up in that I want. And it
always keeps water going
through. There are holes in
there about to keep the fish back out and
if I don’t want it I can cap it
off and let the animal out. The valve… 1. So we put on our suits, check
our gear, and head into the
water. The fish are small, and they
hide in the rocks in very
shallow water, so Michael
inches along looking closely at the bottom
in search of them. Then his eye catches a juvenile
butterfly fish—a baby tropical
fish that looks out of place in New England. I watch as Michael easily
catches the fish in his net.
Does the fish have any idea of its fate as it descends through
Michael’s apparatus? Who knows?
But one thing is certain; this little fish will die if we
don’t rescue it. Now it is my turn. I grab my
net and start looking. Then I
see what looks like a pea with a face, bobbing in the
water. It’s a juvenile Boxfish. I coax it into my net. This
fish is so tiny, I am afraid of
hurting it, so, as you can imagine, I’m very gentle. I
slowly work the fish all the
way down to my bottle. While we are looking for more
fish to rescue, I am startled
to see a fully-grown sea horse battered by the strong surge. I
thought sea horses were
exclusively tropical fish, but Michael says no. I don’t believe he is. A lot of
people believe he belongs in
our water and can live in our cold water all the way up to
Nova Scotia. It is something
that most people never, never see and wouldn’t believe you
could see in the North Atlantic. Just to be sure, we decide to
rescue him and check which
species he is. He clings to the algae with his tail, and I have
to coax him into the bottle
with my hand. I could easily hurt him so I’m super careful.
To try and make him more
comfortable I bring some of the algae he likes into the
bottle. He seems too large to be a
juvenile, so I’m betting he’s a
full-time resident of these northern waters. After the dive, we check out
the fish we rescued. Michael
keeps them alive in a small
aquarium until they reach their final
home, at the New England
Aquarium They will start out in a
smaller tank, but as they grow,
these fish will eventually end up in the 200,000 gallon giant
ocean tank–the main attraction
at the New England Aquarium. These three amigos will be on
their way to the New England
Aquarium within hours. The Seahorse as it turns out is
a local, so we will let him go. It’s been a long and perilous
journey from the Caribbean. But
thanks to the many volunteers, these fish have been spared a
certain death from the cold
winter water here in New
England. Turns out, these guys will
survive their ordeal and
probably even thrive in their
new homes. ( ♪ music )

14 thoughts on “Tropical Fish Rescue | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

  1. I wish I was you…..
    I have ALWAYS wanted to go in the ocean.
    You are my inspiration
    I day I want to grow up like you


  2. I've been to the New England aquarium, and saw the tropical fish and never did it cross my mind that they might have caught some of their fish locally. This is really cool.

  3. When you see a way plastic can be beneficial to marine life lol!!! Seriously though, great job & such cute fish you helped out!!!

  4. You should participate in the silvercarp catching in a river or lake, i forget where it happens. Its a carp fish thats overpopulating some freshwater areas and people go out and catch as many as possible to dimish their numbers. Also, these carps are very clean inside because they eat algea; therefore, they are a good fish to eat. I'm just letting you know about it. You may enjoy it.

  5. Hi Jonathan remember when u said that fire coral is bad news when u see it,
    Today on Saturday 19 October 2019 at la plate beach Jeddah, 12m or 18m underwater I was holding onto a mooring line and felt something burning ? I literally sort of screamed it also stung my cousin who is my diving instructor, he showed to me and I say it moving I did know what it was until on the surfaces told what was that thing that stung us, he then told me it was a tiny fire coral on the mooring line, thank god it was not one of those big ones, he told me that tiny fire coral stings heal within 2 days not like the one u saw in Egypt ??

  6. I told him does it have venom he told it does but it’s not deadly, the venom contains alkali just like a wasp sting so I washed it in vinegar and fresh and it cooled down
    You are right the sting burns ?
    Well on the bright side at least I felt it to tell u guys. Btw I am officially open water certified
    Edit: btw my pinkie is red red because of the sting

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