September 20, 2018
With a couple days left to fish, we’re closing in on the end of leg 1! It’s that point in the leg when everything begins to look familiar and routine may have taken over. But if you’re patient and keep your eyes open, you’re sure to see something. With that said, here are some highlights from the last couple of days!
We woke up to an announcement that a large pod of common dolphins were jumping and swimming straight towards the boat. There were at least 50 of them! The whole show lasted 5-10 minutes, and just like that, they were gone. It’s amazing how quickly these sightings come and go.
Video by Jennifer Casey, NOAA Fisheries
We’ve been sampling in deeper water these last couple of days, and a neat Scorpaenidae fish came up in the net. It may look similar to our black belly rosefish, Helicolenus dactylopterus, but there are some noticeable differences. This fish is a bright orange color and has one extremely long dorsal spine. When the mouth is open, you’ll see a bright yellow throat while the blackbelly rosefish’s is, as you would expect, black.
Some lobsters we catch have lost one or both of their arms. Though, it’s not a permanent state because they can be regrown, and that’s exactly what one of the lobsters we caught was doing! At first glance, it may seem like it has only one arm, but look closer, and you can see that a replacement arm has just started growing.
At another station, we caught a beautiful starfish. We are wondering if it belongs to the genus Coronaster. This animal has 11 delicate arms and is an orange-red color. After pictures were taken, some arms were detached. It seemed odd for that to happen so quickly and after minimal handling. Perhaps it could be some kind of defense mechanism. It will be brought back to the lab for further identification.
A benefit of being on day watch, noon to midnight, is the chance to witness amazing sunsets. When the weather is just right, the sky can be remarkable, and it’s difficult to resist taking a moment to be still and enjoy the view.
Aboard the FSV Henry B. Bigelow
Fall 2018 Bottom Trawl Survey Leg 1