Today, the University of Belize invited the press out to its Environmental Research Institute at the Calabash Caye Field Station in the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve.

That's 33 miles southeast of Belize City and it's a place where important marine study occurs - including checking up on lobster populations. Dr. Leandra Cho Ricketts explains:..

Dr. Leandro Cho Ricketts, Admin/Science marine Director
"We've been monitoring the eco-systems and their health for the last three years and that information allows us to know what's happening, so we know what happening with the reefs, we know the state and the health of the reefs. We always monitor for coral bleaching. We can detect and note when corals are bleaching when they are being stressed by high temperature. We are monitoring lobster and conch populations."

Hani Salazar, Field Technician
"This survey is done twice at the beginning of the lobster season and at the end. Last year we conducted the survey right before the beginning and we found that the lobsters - we are starting to find them in deeper waters. Throughout the year while we are conducting different studies for instance coral bleaching and different fish surveys. Again it's been observe that we are finding them in deeper waters. From what I've personally observed where we find a lot of lobsters are actually at the northern side of the atoll along the patch reefs. It looks like there is a high abundance in the high end of the atoll."

Reporter
"What does that mean ecologically for that species?"

Hani Salazar, Field Technician
"It probably means that the area is better suited for the species. What I am noticing from other data is that a lot of fish are out here right now."

Dr. Leandro Cho Ricketts, Admin/Science marine Director
"As I mentioned its being donated by the Caribbean Community Climate Center and the buoy is for Oceana graphic monitoring and research and we are already in discussions with NOAH about what kinds of research we can do. For example, they are interested and the buoy can give us information on ocean acidification. As you as the climate change issues as you know more that greenhouse gasses goes into the air they are absorbed in the ocean and it makes the ocean more acidic."

Participant
"The first of 6 buoys will be going in right here in Belize off Calabash Caye directly in front of the University of Belize Field Research Station where we just arrived and we hope to have the buoy in place and transmitting y the 20th of this month, so today is the 15th, 5 more days or so and once that buoy is in place the data will come to shore via a radio frequency and then be collected here at the Research Center and transmitted via the internet back to 5 Seas, the University and to NOAH back in the United States."

The Cost of installing the buoy is $200,000 US dollars. A second will be placed in the waters near South Water Caye off Dangriga.

Channel 7