Monday, January 28, 2008

Searching for Next Bluefin


Well- the quest for 1000 did get pushed back by some number crunchers back at the lab
who informed me after reviewing our data base, I was off by 3 electronic tags. So...after thinking we had only 4 to go- we've got 7 more to implant or attach to reach the magic number of 1000. We had a splendid day aboard the Leslie Anne with Captain Gary Stuve, Mates Doug Roberts, And John Rafter- and of course we reminisced all day having spent years fishing together aboard this boat and the F/V Raptor. We had a Blue Planet Special as I call them- when we had diving gannets, feeding dolphins and tuna bites close by. It was super spectacular in some sporty seas- and crisp cold temperatures. Gary is a Captain who keeps meticulous records and he and I were on the bridge thinking about about conditions this year- and discussing years past- we have been in Morehead every year since 1999, and up in Hatteras collectively back to 1994. Its a bit more like 2005 this year- with a lot of phytoplankton (green water) right on Cape Lookout point and the bite more toward the west side. Lots of life in the ocean there but very concentrated. Fast moving schools of predators- birds and fish that are hard to keep track of- Elusive at best and moving fast if you find them. Together, Gary and our TAG Team have a lot of combined data sets on tagging- conventional, archival and satellite- a lot of power in the knowledge gained. After some cold but fun days fishing- I've decided I have to get back to the lab- where we have some super experiments and visiting scientists. Dr. Boustany will capably carry the team on the quest- and I am honestly sad that I did not get a shot at the 1000th tag. He will- and we all decided- we have to catch the fish ourselves- no tranfers for the 1000th Giant. I put up a picture of Captain Gary- doing what he does best- searching for fish- Good luck team!

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