September 11, 2018
We’re almost a week into leg I of the bottom trawl survey on the FSV Henry B. Bigelow, and it’s off to a great start! Despite Hurricane Florence slowly approaching from the southeast, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. The water is flat, and the sky is full of beautiful clouds. One of them briefly produced a water spout.
While off the coast of North Carolina, we saw the Diamond Shoals Lighthouse. With so many shoals along the coast of North Carolina, lighthouses were extremely important to warn sailors of the dangers below.
This lighthouse was eventually moved offshore because warning signals from land were ultimately ineffective. Read more at http://lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=169.
And of course, it’s always exciting to see what the net brings up. Most of the animals have been small, but a couple sizable specimens made it to our sampling stations. Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) is a pelagic, flatheaded fish that spends most of its time alone except when they aggregate annually to mate. Currently, efforts to domestically cultivate cobia for food are underway.
Grey triggerfish (Balistes capriscus) is found all along the eastern US coast. These fish travel through the water with wave-like movements of their dorsal and anal fins. They communicate with grunting and hissing noises. Clicking noises are made when the teeth behind its fleshy lips are rubbed together.
The common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) is an intelligent cephalopod that eats bivalves (mollusks with two shells) and crabs. They are known to leave the empty shells
in what’s known as midden piles right outside whatever space they’ve decided to call home. These piles are a unique way to show researchers what kind of bivalves and crabs are in the area since an octopus can more effectively comb through its habitat as it hunts for food.
Aboard the FSV Henry B. Bigelow
Fall Bottom Trawl Survey – Leg 1