The NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada’s final leg of the 2023 Survey got underway the morning of August 27, departing from Port Angeles, Washington and transiting north into British Columbia. We have a ‘small but mighty’ science crew on board to collect fisheries acoustics and midwater trawl data to estimate Pacific hake biomass, as well as collect oceanographic and zooplankton samples.
We will be working along transects off the west coast of Vancouver Island, beginning near the Ucluelet Peninsula and moving north towards Queen Charlotte Sound. This leg of the joint US-Canada Pacific hake and ecosystem survey is particularly important to coordinate with our collaborators at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), as they use the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir John Franklin to conduct part of the joint survey. CCGS Franklin’s Leg 1 finished just as the Shimada arrived to pick up where they left off. It worked out well, because the Shimada was able to start on Transect 88 and fish on acoustic sign that the Franklin scientists had seen on Transect 87 but had not been able to fish before leaving for a port call. This type of tight coordination of our efforts is key to the success of the joint, international survey. We will complete the survey and a final calibration of our echosounders on September 9, and get to work analyzing all of our data!