Our First Station
When the ship reaches a station, the location where the scientists want to collect their data, the acoustic transducer is lowered into the water. The transducer acts like a “telescope” underwater by sending sound waves down. These sound waves bounce off of the layers of animals and create picture of the layers of animals. The data are put into a computer model to help analyze the data collected and to help the scientists know at what depth to fish the nets.
Assistant Professor Kevin Boswell, Reading the Acoustic Data
MOCHNESS Operator Gray Lawson
After scientists have taken readings with the transducer, the MOCNESS nets are lowered and deployed at different depths that range from 1500 meters to the surface. The process of the nets being lowered and collecting samples can take several hours. The MOCNESS is made up of six different nets. Net 0 goes down open to the deepest depth. When Net 0 is closed, Net 1 opens. The rest of the nets open at specific depths. For example Net 1 may collect samples from 1500 meters to 1200 meters. The next net would collect from 1200 to 1000 meters. All of the net openings and closing and the data associated with the nets is controlled from a computer inside the ship.
Lowering the nets Nets in the water
When the nets are brought up scientists go through a process to identify the organisms that are collected. They are identified by specialists, weighed, measured and in some cases DNA samples are taken. For other samples, some parts of their body are selected to look for an accumulation of mercury or hydrocarbons (from the oil spill).
Sorting the Organisms
Teacher At Sea,