Northwest Fisheries Science Center

The Main Deck

Acoustic and trawl adventures in the Northeast Pacific

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.

Back deck of Bell M. Shimada
Acoustic echogram of hake
trawl catch
 

Meet the night crew

By Sandy Parker-Stetter, Tom Holland, Carlos Godínez-Pérez, and Jenni Hood
February 1, 2016


We’ve got another great, and diverse, group of scientists sailing with us on leg 2.  I asked each of the members of the night crew to tell us about themselves.

Our night crew in the wet lab.  Photo credit Sandy Parker-Stetter (NWFSC)

Tom:  I work at the NWFSC where I am a member of the At-Sea Hake Observer Program.  This is my first experience on a NOAA “White Boat.”  I have other scientific survey cruises on chartered commercial fishing vessels.  One of my first impressions of being on a NOAA vessel is the fact that it is dedicated to doing the science of the survey.  There is no pressure to catch as much fish as possible.  Being able to go at “science speed,” as opposed to “full bore factory speed” allows me to be sure of my species identifications.  In other words, I have the time to be a splitter instead of a lumper.   It also allows for the complete work up of the target species, Pacific Hake.  Since this is the initial Winter Hake Survey, all future data will be compared to this one.  It is better to do the most thorough and complete job possible.  That’s the Night Shift Motto!  Hi Jen!

Carlos:  I am currently working towards my Master’s Degree at Centro Interdisciplinario en Ciencias Marinas in La Paz, Mexico.  I use acoustics to study the hake populations in the northern Gulf of California.  Although the hake haven’t been showing up much during the night shift (perhaps they are afraid of us) it has been a pleasure to spend time with a professional team from different areas of expertise.  Every moment on the ship (whether fishing or not) you can learn something new.  When the Chief Scientist locates an aggregation of hake, I find myself wondering if the net will be full of juveniles, adults or a mix of both.  I get excited to see which other organisms we will find in the catch.  It is interesting to examine what the hake have eaten during their different stages of spawning and it is satisfying to have these questions answered at the end of the haul.

Jenni:  I work for the Groundfish Observer program.  Although I mostly work in Alaska, I also participate in the At-Sea Hake Observer Program off the West Coast when I am given the opportunity.  I volunteered for this position to experience life on a NOAA research vessel and I am excited to be part of this “first of its kind” study.  Coming from a job where working solo is the norm, it has been refreshing getting to work with a whole team of scientists with different areas of expertise.  So far I have enjoyed absorbing information from the acoustics lab team along with viewing the little critters collected from the vertical net tows we perform for zooplankton studies.  Although the work has been relatively straightforward so far, there has been some difficulty in refusing the temptations of the 3 am ice cream break.

Squad of squid captured during a tow. Video credit NWFSC/FEAT

Tagged: Winter hake survey

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