Friday, 2 October 2009

Situation Report, 13 August 2009

R/V Dr.Fritjof Nansen is currently at 15 51S and 40 49E on station 6 on environmental line 4 (number 3 from the north). The weather is very good, it is now almost no wind and the sea is very calm. Our work is proceeding according to plan and we seem to have enough time to cover all our predefined tasks. Whether or not we have time to service the mooring off Pemba will be decided upon when we have finished the pelagic survey and head towards Pemba.

Yesterday we reinterpreted all the acoustic data based on methods and thresholding levels specified by Pascal Cotel who has analyzed the 2008 acoustic data. His input has been very helpful and we are now more confident about the acoustic interpretation, although the differentiation between the PEL 1 (clupeoid) and PEL 2 (scombridae, carangidae) is still difficult as there are few schools observed and the trawl only catch these groups during nighttime. The highest densities are observed close to shore and in bays. Last night (23:00) we had a haul in the bay off Mocambique where we caught various species of scad, anchovies, barracudas and others.

We're also continuing with daytime surface hauls to sample the juveniles.

The last day few whales and no birds have been observed because the vessel has been far offshore in deep waters during daylight hours. To improve bird and whale observations we plan to set our course from the end of the pelagic survey to Pemba close to shore and make a more determined observing effort from the bridge and deck.

- Dr. Erik Olsen

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