Preparation of net closing mechanism
Lander secured on deck
Preparation of electronic equipment for lander
Date:June 7, 2004
Author: Stein Kaartvedt (University of Oslo, Norway) and Cairistiona Anderson (University of St Andrews, UK)
We have now left the shelf region, and are out in the open ocean west of the Faroe Islands. Our track crosses those of southward heading Arctic terns. They have already ended their short exploitation of the Arctic summer, and are now on their long journey that will end at the Antarctic continent in the southern spring.
The time on ship is spent preparing procedures and getting equipment ready for tomorrow’s arrival at the first sampling station. The engineers have been working to modify the trawls. This will enable depth-stratified sampling at much larger depths than possible using existing models. The results of their efforts is that we can now obtain samples from up to 5 separate depth-intervals in a single trawl haul from 3000 m to the surface. Another novel modification is the attachment of an “aquarium cod-end” which hopefully will allow the retrieval of live animals, even from the greatest depths.
Other work by the engineers includes making the “landers” ready for deployment. These are acoustic devises that will be located on the bottom of the ocean at large depths. They are fuelled by powerful battery packages, and data on the abundance and behaviour of deep-living fishes will be stored on the built-in PC’s until retrieval by G.O Sars on her return to Bergen. New landers will then be deployed, this time left in the deep Atlantic for a period of one year.
During the daily meeting for the scientific crew, a presentation was given on what we should expect to find in the water column at the Reykjanes ridge, our first sampling region. Another presentation went through the critically important issue of securing proper handling and registration of the samples, as they will be of little use if we do not know where and when they were collected.