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What Do We Do During Down Time? Max Weber

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On DEEPEND cruises we spend most of our time doing science-related activities that you may have read about in previous blogs.  Believe it or not, we do occasionally have down time and we have to figure out how to fill it.  There is a TV in the galley that is quite popular to hang around and watch during meal times and late at night.  My favorite DEEPEND pastime however, is fishing!

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Photo:  Max on the hunt for his first tuna

DEEPEND researchers assemble a stack of rods and reels before every cruise in the hopes we will stumble across some good fishing action.  This is not guaranteed and I have been skunked on previous DEEPEND cruises.  On afternoons when the net is not in the water and we are in transit to another station trolling is the go-to method of fishing.  We have already landed on small tuna on this cruise while trolling. 

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Photo:  The rod and reel assemblage area of the lab

 Typically the best fishing takes place when a school of fish or some sort of floating structure (like sargassum or floating boards) is spotted.  Floating structure often attract small baitfish, which in turn attract larger predators.  Already this cruise we have stumbled across a school of Chicken (small) Mahi and Little Tunny.  I have landed two Mahi and a Little Tunny, which was my first ever tuna species caught on a rod and reel!

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Phptps:  Ocean Triggerfish; Travis with a Little Tunny; Bpttom photo:  Little Tunny

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Dr. Heather Judkins is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She received a Bachelors degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, Masters degree in Science Education from Nova Southeastern University and her PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on understanding the evolution, ecology, and biogeography of cephalopods with a main focus currently in the Wider Caribbean. Her role in this project includes the identification of deep-sea cephalopods, examining genetic diversity, and analysis of cephalopod ecology and distribution in the water column.

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Guest Friday, 17 August 2018