The 2019 Summer California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Survey will run from July 11-26 aboard the R/V Bold Horizon and attempt to occupy scheduled station locations between Morro Bay and La Jolla, California. Researchers aboard will assess pelagic fish stocks, monitor environmental conditions, conduct continuous underway sampling of surface waters, record current profiles, and measure optical profiles within the California bight.
July 26, 2019
The final week of California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations displayed characteristics of the first week. Low productivity, little to no spawning of Coastal Pelagic Species, remarkably low nutrient levels in the surface and upper water column, near normal temperature and salinity profiles and marginal weather. Again, Panama lightfish (Vinciguerria lucetia) was the dominant spawner of the offshore region. There were pulses of Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus) spawning in some of the warmer inshore areas (18 C) but these were relatively rare. The crew and ownership of the Bold Horizon (née New Horizon) is commended for their professionalism and accommodating can-do attitude to make this summer California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations a resounding success. The ship is due to arrive at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal around on Friday, July 26, and the gear will be offloaded on Monday, July 29.
July 19, 2019
The summer California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations survey departed on July 11, 2019, and has since entered its second week of operations within the Southern California Bight. The survey’s platform this year turns out to be the recently de-commissioned UNOLS vessel New Horizon. Previously owned by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the vessel is now owned and operated by The Eclipse Group, rechristened the Bold Horizon, and chartered by SIO for the summer California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations survey.
Conditions within the bight this summer so far are showing very low signs of productivity. Surface nutrient levels are some of the lowest the survey has had in a while and samples taken from all plankton net tows are very small. At times samples taken from the CUFES system are non-existent. Scientists aboard saw a high abundance of Panama lightfish (Vinciguerria lucetia) in the offshore stations but the Coastal Pelagic Species (sardine, anchovy, mackerel) signal is very low. Not unexpected for the summer, but it appears to be lower than in the past. Weather along the first two transects was marginal to poor which slowed progress and has put the survey slightly behind schedule. The ship is due to return to the NOAA pier at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal on July 26, pending any change in schedule.