Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Food Web Cruise - Day 6

It has been another hot and humid day at sea. But the sea is staying relatively flat so that more than makes up for the heat.

A video camera has been attached to the CTD on some of the shallow casts to film animals in the surface water. Unfortunately, the camera has not been functioning correctly so only one video has been recorded so far, and it was taken during the day so not many animals were at the surface. A video at night would be preferable as, once it gets dark, many animals come to the surface to feed. A night time video cast is scheduled for this evening; hopefully it works and some interesting footage is captured.

Interesting animals have been captured this cruise, not on film but in the net tows. The plankton nets are towed behind the ship to collect small animals that are near the surface. A juvenile pufferfish, a tiny transparent squid and a small octopus have been caught in these nets, in addition to the various types of zooplankton that are commonly found in the Sargasso Sea.

The sediment traps that had been drifting for 72 hours were recovered yesterday. While retrieving the traps, a small fish was spotted swimming around the line. The recovery was halted in order to try to net the fish because one of the scientists on board is studying the Sargassum fish and its predators. She would like to study any fish that can be caught while on this cruise. A few other fishing attempts have been made, mainly with fishing rods instead of nets, but no one has been successful.

We are about half way through the cruise now. It is hard to believe...we will be back to land before we know it!

No comments:

Post a Comment