NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship, Oscar Elton Sette
March 12 – March 26, 2012
Mission: Fisheries Study
Geographical area of cruise: American Samoa
Date: March 15, 2012
Pago Pago, American Samoa
Science and Technology Log:
Nighttime Cobb Trawling : Day 4
We began the trawling around 8:30 p.m. The data we collect tonight will replace the previous trawl on day 2 which was flawed in the method by which the experiment was collected. The Day 2 experiment was when the winch became stuck and the trawl net was left in the water well over 2 ½ hours, long past the 1 hour protocol.
Here’s is what the science team found.
Tonight the trawl nets went into the ocean and were timed as all the other times.
During the sorting we found some very interesting species of fish which included:
- Pyrosomes: chordate/Tunicate
- Two Juvenile cow fish (we placed them into a small saltwater tank to observe interesting species caught in the net.)
This is a great place to make further observations of these unique animals.
The data collected included:
|Name of fish:||Numbers Count||Volume (milliliters)||Mass (grams)|
The Cobb trawl net was washed, rinsed and the fish strained through the net. They were then brought inside the web lab for further sorting.
We were close to finishing the sorting, counting, and weighing when suddenly we heard something at the back door of the lab. Fale, the scientist from American Samoa went to the door and proceeded to turn the latch, and slowly opened the door. There huddled next to the wall, near some containers was a beautiful black and white Tropic bird, a common bird of this area. Its distinctive feature was the single white tail feather that jutted out about 1 foot in length. He looked just as surprised to see us and we were of him. He did not make a move at all for about 10-15 minutes . We took pictures and videos to mark the occasion, yet he still didn’t budge or act alarmed.
With a bit more time passing, he began to walk, or more like waddle like a duck. His ebony webbed feet made it difficult to maneuver over the open slats in the deck. He attempted flight but appeared to get confused with the overhanging roof.
I quickly found a small towel and placing it over his head, gently carried him to a safe spot on the aft deck where he would have no trouble flying away.
The time was about 2:00 a.m. when we were distracted by the ship’s fire alarm, and we quickly reported to our muster stations. Luckily, there was no fire and we returned resuming our trawl data collection. Upon reaching the wet lab, we noticed at the stern of the ship, our newly found feathered friend had flown off into the dark night.
It was a great way to end our night with research and early hour bird watching. How lucky we all are to be in the South Pacific.