This portal tracks the research and sea-going activities of the Fisheries Engineering and Acoustic Technologies (FEAT) Team from NOAA¿s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Follow us as we use acoustics, trawling, and oceanographic sampling to learn about the Northeast Pacific Ocean.
The countdown is on for the NWFSC-FRAM Fisheries Engineering & Acoustic Technologies (FEAT) team's summer research cruise. The NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada, and our talented Science Party for Leg 1, depart on August 19. This summer we have two main research priorities:
1. Upgrade the acoustic system and compare the new and old systems
Our recent surveys have used single-frequency "EK60" acoustic systems. We are moving to broadband (i.e. a spectrum of frequencies) "EK80" systems. We will be installing, testing, and calibrating 18, 38, 70, 120, and 200 kHz EK80 systems. We'll also be comparing results (over hake, over krill, etc) from the EK80 with the older EK60 systems. This work will get the acoustic systems ready for next summer's coast-wide survey that supports both stock assessment and ecosystem understanding.
2. Test midwater trawl codend liners
A "codend liner" is the fine mesh at the back end of midwater trawls. If the mesh is coarse, small fish or other critters may pass through and not be caught. If fine, small critters may be retained, but the mesh might also clog and create back-pressure that can affect the net and what we catch. We'll be fishing two midwater trawls that are the same except for their liners (1 coarse, 1 fine). We'll be comparing the catches (length of fish, quantities, etc) and also how the net itself fishes (opening size, etc). With this information, we'll better understand our own gear and also how it may differ from other gear.
In addition to this excitement, we'll also squeeze in oceanographic data collection, testing a new trawling app, hake stomach content analysis, trawl video analysis, and lots of great at-sea adventures (so stay tuned!).