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Monday, February 14, 2011

RV Celtic Explorer Newfoundland & Labrador Fishery Survey: DAY 15

Date 13/02/2011 Time: 20:00 hrs (UTC)

Position: 53 deg 06.78  N 54 deg 08.09 W, Speed 3 Knots, in ice

Wind 40 Knots W

So the theme today is not just ice, but a mix of things from the weather (everyone loves to talk about the weather), to the scientific.  But to start off, as we are now living amongst it, here is another photo of the sea ice for all of those ice-spotters out there… I believe the correct term for this is ‘pancake’ sea ice.  The bright surface, as shown in the photo is because 80 percent of sunlight that strikes it is reflected back into space*

Ice flowing past the Celtic Explorer (Photo: Kate Barley)

The wind speed has been up at around 40 Knots today and we recorded the coldest surface water temperature of -2.010 C.  The air temperature warmed up a little from yesterday with southerly winds and the ice kept the waves down.  A lot more seals were spotted on the ice too.

The coldest recorded water temperature so far (photo: Kate Barley)

We managed to do some sampling and found some interesting species; the wet lab on the Celtic Explorer is wonderfully equipped with the scientific equipment of a research lab and all of the scientists got stuck in with sorting, identifying, counting and measuring.

Harp Seals on the ice (photo: Antony Hobin). The NW Atlantic herd is now estimated at over 7-8 million animals.

Craig Knickle and Kyle Krumsick sorting through biological samples in the wetlab (Photo: Ed Stern)

In addition to surveying commercially important fishes, we are investigating the presence of rare and interesting species. Some of the interesting invertebrates collected were Echinoderms, including Basket stars (seen in the photo below).  With over 6000 species, Echinoderms are an interesting and diverse marine phylum.  Once adults, these animals are bottom dwelling, have radial symmetry and are interesting as they have no eyes, heart or brain. The name Echinoderm means ‘Spiny skinned’ in Greek and they can regenerate if certain parts are removed. 

Invertebrate samples (photo:Kate Barley)


Can anyone name this species?  (Photo: Kate Barley)

One specimen that we have been as yet unable to identify to species is shown above.  This specimen was found at 426m depth, is 11cm in length, with a soft body and hard ‘spines’ all around it.  The underneath shows the radial symmetry and the thought it is could be a sea cucumber.  Any more ideas please let us know. 

In the dry lab, interesting things were also happening with fish identification, data collection and the continuous monitoring of the scientific echosounder. 

Chief scientist Dr. George Rose working with graduate student Kyle Krumsick in the Acoustics Lab.

As the survey moves along, much time is spent entering and organizing data collected into databases ready for analysis. 

Kate Barley working through some of the data (Photo: Gen DAvingon)

And to end, here is some of our wonderful crew on the bridge with the best view on the ship, and by the look of it, some pretty fancy seats. 

Officer of Watch Richard O’Regan and Deckhand Alec Carty on the Bridge (Photo:Kate Barley)

Until next time…

Blog by Kate Barley

*(Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center)


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