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First day is in the books!

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Hello from the R/V Blazing Seven!

We are a group of eight student/scientists headed by Dr. Jay Rooker from TAMU - Galveston. We will be conducting ichthyoplankton (e.g., larval fish) tows for the next five days!

Due to some last minute repairs, we had a delayed start yesterday. However, this allowed us to set up and secure all of our nets while we were still docked at Port Fourchon. We left the dock at 1pm yesterday and arrived at our first station at 7:50am today. In order to sample a station, we deploy the bongo nets to 100 m followed by the neuston net at the surface. The bongo nets are towed for 4-8 minutes, and the neuston net is towed for 10 minutes. Once the nets are retrieved, our job is to sort through and jar the samples.


b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0628.JPG b2ap3_thumbnail_neuston.png
Bongo nets neuston net



We’ve collected several larval fishes in the nets so far. At the first station, we collected a larval mahi-mahi and a larval sargassumfish. We also caught several larval tuna, to my excitement (since I am studying them for my thesis), and we are hoping to catch more! Unfortunately at Station 3, we had to replace our nets since it ripped while it was being towed, but the new net is functioning perfectly! At Station 8, we collected a swordfish! In all, we completed 11 stations today. It was a very successful first day and we’re looking forward to sampling tomorrow! Check back tomorrow for more pictures!


Tuna larvae



Check back tomorrow for more pictures!



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Nina Pruzinsky is a graduate research assistant in Dr. Tracey Sutton's Oceanic Ecology Lab at Nova Southeastern University. She is interested in researching poorly-studied life stages/species/communities. By doing this, her goal is to provide information to conservation and management efforts that can be used to protect and maintain species populations. Nina gets the opportunity to work with fishes throughout the water column; she not only works with deep-sea fishes in Dr. Sutton's lab, but she also studies tuna early life stages in the epipelagic zone for her thesis. Nina's Master's thesis is entitled "Identification and spatiotemporal dynamics of tuna (Family: Scombridae; Tribe: Thunnini) early life stages in the oceanic Gulf of Mexico." This topic allows her to investigate the population dynamics of taxonomically-challenging early life stages of these ecologically, economically and recreationally important fishes.


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Guest Tuesday, 28 June 2022