Mozambique expedition to the Bazaruto Archipelago and the Primeiras & Segundas Archipelago
The Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago is situated in a remote area of tropical Mozambique. The archipelago is
the largest marine protected area in Mozambique, and consist of 11 small coral atolls, situated about 10-20km from
the coast. Researcher Linda Eggertsen (Stockholm University, UFF/LECAR), Marcos de Lucena (UFRJ,
UFF/LECAR), César Cordeiro (UFF/LECAR), Whitney Goodell (University of Hawaii, National Geographic),
Benjamim Bandeira (Universidade Pedagogica, Mozambique) and photographer Anne Hedlund visited the islands
in May to collect data on reef fish, plankton and benthos. The lagoons consist of coral bommies, patches of
seagrass and macroalgae. One of the main aims of the project was to study the nursery function of fragmented and
spatially small seagrass meadows for reef fish. This project is also supervised by Dr Charlotte Berkström
(Stockholm Universiy) and Prof. Rod Connolly (Griffith University). Data on fish assemblage structure (visual
censuses) and benthic community structure (photo quadrats) on the fringing and outside slopes of the reefs was
also collected, both during day and at night.
Data was collected on four of the islands during the expedition; Ilha do Fogo, Epidendron, Casuarina and Moma.
The sheltered leeward parts of the reefs supported amazing corals, while some of the lagoons had been heavily
impacted by previous cyclones. Despite being a protected area, there were clear signs of overfishing on most of the
On the return towards our base in São Sebastião in the south of the Bazaruto Archipelago, we visited one of the
offshore reefs of the Pantaloon Reefs – which was in really good condition. We recorded sharks both at the
Pantaloon Reef and 12 Mile Reef north of the Bazaruto Archipelago.
The field work team also executed monitoring of the fish and invertebrate communities in the protected area The
Sanctuary in the south of the Bazaruto Archipelago, where Carlos Ferreira (UFF/LECAR) also participated. The
monitoring focused on seagrass and mangrove systems, and was conducted in collaboration with The Sanctuary.
This expedition was funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Royal Academy of Science and the
owners of the catamaran used for the expedition, Mr H. Brown and G. Wilson. We thank everyone involved and are
looking forward to return to the beautiful waters of the Western Indian Ocean!
The shallow fringing reef of the Epidendron Atoll, the Primeiras Archipelago. Photo L. Eggertsen
A grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) at the Pantaloon reef. The grey reef shark is one of the most common
species of sharks in the Indo-Pacific. Photo A. Hedlund
The Mozambique team; Marcos de Lucena, Whitney Goodell, César Cordeiro and Linda Eggertsen aboard the
Reefscape at 12 Mile Reef just north of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Photo A. Hedlund