NEFSC May Cruise 2013 – Surveying

After 2 days of bobbing around in big waves and high winds, it’s nice to have a day with good sighting conditions.  The winds are calming down and we’ve got sunny skies with full visibility.

The plan for today is to survey in the Great South Channel, an area between the Nantucket Shoals and Georges Bank (see map) – where zooplankton concentrate in the spring and summer.  This makes for a good feeding habitat for whales, fish, and seabirds.  Today, scientists are rotating through an observer rotation, where 3-5 people scan the water with naked eye, small or large binoculars/“big eyes” (photo 1).  When we see something interesting (e.g., right whales) the number of scientist on the fly bridge grows (photo 2)

Map photo credit: Amy Caracappa-Qubeck, WHOI