The 2019 Integrated Ecosystem and Pacific Hake Acoustic-Trawl Survey (aka the Summer Survey) has wrapped up! All of our gear has been offloaded from the NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada, so the ship looked empty as of late Wednesday afternoon. Over the course of the survey, we caught big Pacific Hake, we caught little Hake, we caught creatures with (and without) backbones, we caught things we expected, and sometimes things we didn't expect. Overall, the Summer Survey went very smoothly, and collected a lot of excellent data to support our work, the Pacific Hake stock assessment, and the work of our partners such as eDNA, Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), and Imaging Flow CytoBot.
The Survey would not have happened without the incredible line-up of scientists that supported the acoustics, wet lab, zooplankton, oceanographic, and chemistry lab operations. In addition to the science, we swapped great stories and sometimes laughed until our sides hurt. To the Science Parties from Legs 1, 2, 3, and 4--you, my friends and colleagues, do stellar work.
The NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada was an excellent survey partner, right from mobilization to demobilization. Every Department was at their best, and we quickly found our groove for the various operations. Of note is that we completed this entire survey using just a single midwater net-- given how hard fishing can be on the gear, and the range of weather conditions that we worked in, this is a pretty big deal! Thank you, Shimada crew, for your role in the success of the Survey this year.
The four Saildrones that buzzed around Shimada throughout the survey will be wrapping up their data collection in the coming days. We'll soon turn our attention to analyzing this important data set within the context of the overall Shimada-based survey results.
While the NWFSC portion of the Survey may be wrapped up, our colleagues at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) are now out on the FV Nordic Pearl to cover the northern portion of the survey. Operations in Canadian waters, and potentially up into Southeast Alaska, will continue until mid-September. Go, Nordic Pearl, go!