Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Shogun Expedition, October 7-8

The Tuna Research and Conservation Center team is on the Shogun in October this year- a bit of an unusual time for our bluefin tagging team. The trip started with an enthusiastic team of students, staff and post-docs. On board this year are Chuck and Barb, Stanford Graduate student Dane Klinger, Post-doc John Dale, Technicians, Ethan Estes and Alex North. The team on board is also composed of a trio of Stanford@SEA former undergraduates, Ethan, Laura Lilly and Nick Mendoza. Visiting scientists aboard from CICESE are Oscar, Ana and Maria from Dr. Tim Baumgartner’s and Axa Rocha lab to help in a collaborative research.  We fished to the south- and quickly got into to small spots of yellowfin tuna exactly of the right size we were looking for. This season we’re looking for fish to swim in our flume and starting out with a 15 lb tuna helps as the smaller 8-10 lb fish will occasionally turn around making the studies challenging.  We collected about 5 of this size and continued to the south. The conditions were a bit rough and never improved but the fish showed up bright and early the second day of fishing. We had a wonderful set of stops on kelps where the entire pelagic community was hanging out- with yellowtail, Mahi and yellowfin tuna. Petrels flew above and it was a super fun stop with lots of great fishing action and a loaded vessel with yellowfin. We’re heading back up the line to drop the fish off for truck transport back to the lab. We plan to collect and tag some bluefin tuna in the next few days.

-Dr. Barbara Block

Yellowfin tuna collected on the first leg of the trip

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