9. June


Swarming around the catch


From the deep waters


Busy working with the samples

Todays Highlights

Date:June 9, 2004
Author:  Uwe Piatkowski, IFM-GEOMAR, University of Kiel, and Mikko Heino, IMR

After days of steaming and expectations rising hour by hour, we finally reached our first station during the early mornings hours. Station work was started by lowering an echosounder to a thousand metres depth. This provided an estimate of acoustic biomass densities in deeper waters which the vessel’s hull-mounted echosounder does not reach.

 

The following highlight was our first haul with a large pelagic trawl. We sampled three layers starting close to the bottom, which was at 2200 metres, and further to the surface. After nearly four hours of fishing, the trawl was safely brought back, attracting nearly all cruise participants to the trawl deck. The excitement was great when opening the trawl’s codends and exploring the catch. The deepest layer up to 1500 metres, stored in a special aquarium codend, yielded a typical bathypelagic fauna dominated by deep sea smelts (Bathylagus euryops), deep-sea eels such as the sawtoothed eel (Serrivomer beanii) and red-coloured deep-water prawns as well as deep-sea jellyfish of genus Atolla. The middle layer (300-900 m) was dominated by lantern fishes, and the uppermost layer (200 m) by Atlantic pearlside (Maurolicus muelleri). The catch will keep the scientists in the fish lab busy the whole night.

 

Weather Conditions

The days work was conducted under favourable weather conditions with north-easterly breeze and little swell.

 

Tomorrows expected highlights

Work on the station will continue with plankton sampling, and once the dark hours of night set, with a video profiler giving us images of zooplankton from 1000 metres depth right to the surface.