The 2023 Spring CalCOFI Survey will take place March 25 through April 26, 2023, aboard NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada. Measurements taken at these stations entail chemical, biological and physical oceanographic measurements while underway sampling includes physical measurements, pelagic fish egg collections as well as marine mammal, marine turtle and seabird observations. Three NOS Sanctuaries colleagues will participate on this cruise as a continuation of our Enhanced CalCOFI project collaboration, which adds sampling stations in the Channel Islands and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries.
April 28, 2023
The Spring 2023 CalCOFI cruise concluded on Monday, April 24, when NOAA ship Bell M. Shimada tied up in San Francisco. The team was able to complete 114/116 stations, 12 of which are the newly added National Marine Sanctuaries – CalCOFI monitoring sites. Teammates packed up their gear and loaded it onto a FedEx truck, then took flights back to San Diego on Tuesday evening. By Wednesday, April 26, at 8 am, they were all back at the La Jolla lab offloading gear from the same FedEx truck.
The spring cruise is the highest priority of the quarterly CalCOFI cruises conducted each year. The team has already begun the first step in processing the ichthyoplankton samples and will soon transfer the samples to the Larval Lab where all fish eggs and larvae and paralarval cephalopods will be sorted, enumerated, and identified to the lowest possible taxon. These data are used for a variety of analyses and provide critical contextual information for understanding the ever-fluctuating California Current Ecosystem.
Check out all the fun and interesting posts from the spring CalCOFI cruise by going to social media pages at twitter.com/calcofi and https://www.instagram.com/calcofi/.
April 21, 2023
Leg 2 of the spring CalCOFI survey left Port Hueneme the morning of April 14. Since leaving port, the group has completed 35 stations, 13 of which are newly added sanctuary stations.
As of Thursday morning, April 20, at 10:30 am, the Shimada is currently off the coast of Monterey Bay heading west on line 66.7. At the current rate of operations, the crew should be able to occupy and complete the rest of the planned stations with time to spare.
Preliminary Continuous Underway Fish Egg Sampler (CUFES) samples have been showing pulses of Northern Anchovy eggs. These pulses have lessened as sampling moves north. The heaviest pulses were seen in the core CalCOFI six-line pattern (south of Point Conception).
April 7, 2023
The spring CalCOFI cruise aboard NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada is closing in on two weeks of days at sea. They have been battling rough weather that has impeded their progress but has not stopped the collection of interesting biological data. They are seeing small (1-5 cm in length) pyrosomes “everywhere” and high numbers of anchovy eggs in the Continuous Underway Fish Egg Sampler (CUFES). At the stations near Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands, they collected an incredibly high abundance of Northern Anchovy eggs in the Manta (neuston) net.
March 31, 2023
The spring CalCOFI cruise departed San Diego as scheduled on Saturday, March 25, aboard NOAA ship Bell M. Shimada. Operations are starting to come together and they are shortening station times. Due to a few new NOAA Corps officers and crew aboard the ship, the first few days have been a lot of training and getting through all the safety stand downs. But station times are finally what they are supposed to be and are still on track to finish the core six lines by the end of Leg 1. However, the weather is picking up and is supposed to continue through tomorrow night, which may slow the transit between stations.
March 24, 2023
The FRD CalCOFI Ship Ops team has been preparing for the upcoming spring CalCOFI cruise scheduled to depart San Diego on Saturday, March 25, aboard NOAA ship Bell M. Shimada. The ship left its home port in Newport, OR, on March 18 and arrived in San Diego on March 22. The FRD and SIO CalCOFI teams loaded and set up the scientific sampling gear on March 23 & 24. This year, the spring cruise will be divided into two distinct legs with a mid-cruise port call in Port Hueneme (Ventura County, CA). Leg 2 will end in San Francisco on April 26. Three NOS Sanctuaries colleagues will participate on this cruise as a continuation of our Enhanced CalCOFI project collaboration, which adds sampling stations in the Channel Islands and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries.