About this Cruise

This month-long cruise aboard the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette brings together six diverse teams to survey fish populations using non-catch methods. Traditionally, fish populations have been assessed by catching fish, visiting fish markets and interviewing fishermen. Chief Scientist Scott Ferguson hopes to support Guam and the CNMI in monitoring their natural resources using non-extractive methods. The ship will also use multibeam sonar to map areas that are important fishery resources hopefully to include Galvez Bank, offshore slopes near Rota, and the banks of Farallon de Medinilla.

The survey methods include BotCams and BRUVs, two systems that put baited cameras on the bottom, and a TOAD which is a camera towed near the seafloor . An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle will travel on its own via computer programming and bring back photographs and video. Additionally, acoustic methods will be used to survey fish in the water column.

This expedition brings together scientists from NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and Northwest Fisheries Science Center, as well as the University of Hawaii’s Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, the University of Guam Marine Lab, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

We're off!

With great anticipation (at least on my part) we departed Guam at 11:30 A.M. Thursday. The scientists have great expectations and most of them matched my excitement. The ship's crew is mellow - they sail all the time. We went about a mile off shore and spent a few hours while scientists calibrated their equipment. We then went back into Apra Harbor so the multibeam sonar could be calibrated. During the night we actually set sail and are now at Galvez Banks, our first study site. The scientists are continuing their work with the sonar. This will probably take all day today and maybe part of tomorrow. We need the sonar to get good maps of the seafloor so the fish experts can place their gear in the best spots to find fish. We have at least four ways to survey the fish: acoustically, with an AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle), with a towed camera and several rigs that have 2 cameras each and use bait to attract fish. I will share more when the equipment is being used.


Shark Feet said...

Hey, Ms. Tatreau! How is your trip going so far? I know it was only a day on the boat, but I was curious. Also, have you reached your destination already?

Hi Sting,
This trip could not be better. Well, maybe if the seas were calm, but I’m not seasick and I’m learning a lot. The science crew is really helpful and the ship’s crew super friendly. I’m traveling with a great group of people.

Shark Feet said...

Hi Ms. Tatreau,
Glad to hear that you're having fun. How many people are on the boat? Can you guys go fishing on the trip? By the way, the first recycle without you was not so good, but we were able to handle it. There were less than ten people signed up, so it took awhile.
Hi Ritz
There are 41 people onboard. Twenty-two of us are the science team. That leaves 19 in the ship’s crew. I have included a page called Meet the Science Team. I hope to get everyone on before the end of the cruise. I’ll try for a Meet the Ship’s Crew too. Whenever possible someone is fishing and the menu last night included mahi mahi.