Monday, September 17, 2007

Tagging Giants Down Under - #3 - Fish On!

TAG scientist George Shillinger is back from his incredibly successful tagging expedition in New Zealand and is ready to share his adventures. Below is the third entry in his seven-part series.

The excitement mounted as we pulled within earshot of the trawler. The stern of the trawler was illuminated in bright lights. The silhouettes of hundreds of seabirds mobbed the trawler’s stern and danced around the incoming net. Even as thousands of kilos of dead and dying hoki rolled into trawler, the sea was alive around the boat. A cacophony of seabirds pierced the night sky, overwhelming the din of the trawler’s gear and the sound of our own engines as we approached the scene. In the water, seals darted around the net, scooping up fish from the net and fish-processing offal spilling from the trawler’s scuppers. The photo above shows a tuna feeding on hoki at the bag (left corner of bag).

Captain Larry positioned Creveza alongside the trawler, so close that we could see the faces of the men working the trawl net high on the port side above us.

As we drifted and swung off the trawler’s stern and past the incoming net, Adrian flung the hoki bait into the current. We were hooked up in seconds – fish on (photo above)!!!!

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