Leg 4 got underway the morning of August 10. We have a relatively large crew of scientists, ranging from an environmental DNA scientist, a harmful algal bloom expert, acousticians, fish biologists, to marine mammal and seabird observers. It is fascinating to go from peering through a microscope at diatoms on one deck to peering through binoculars at whales on a different deck.
We picked up the survey on transect 57 near Coos Bay, Oregon, after a short transit down from
Newport. We will continue surveying and fishing for hake up to transect 76 off Westport, Washington, at which time we will come into Port Angeles to prepare for leg 5 of the Shimada’s portion of the joint US-Canada Pacific hake and ecosystem survey.
We have been crossing a considerable temperature gradient out here these past few days. It is startling to walk by the sea surface temperature gauge and see 12 degree C temperatures (54 degrees F), and at other times almost 19 degrees (66 degrees F). That’s getting close to “room temperature”! There is a marine heatwave going on in the Northeast Pacific, and we may be seeing the results of that. You can find more information about it at
By Rebecca Thomas, Research Fisheries Biologist, Northwest Fisheries Science Center.