NOAA Teacher at Sea: Bruce Taterka
Geographical Area of Cruise:
Date: Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Weather Data from the Bridge
Time: 2015 (8:15pm)
Position: Latitude = 27.20.39 N; Longitude = 096.35.21 W
Present Weather: Could cover 90%
Visibility: 4-6 nautical miles
Wind Speed: 15 knots
Wave Height: 2-4 feet
Sea Water Temp: 28.6 C
Air Temperature: Dry bulb = 28.5 C; Wet bulb = 26.7 C
Barometric Pressure: 1008.27 mb
Science and Technology Log
Since setting out on Friday we’ve headed south along the Gulf coast of
Ten-foot seas are predicted for tonight so we’re heading north along the Texas coast, away from the storm, and we've put away the fishing gear until it gets calmer.
Last log we talked about FSCS (Fisheries Scientific Computer System). So what is it, how is it used, and what is so great about it?
FSCS, pronounced ‘fiscus’, is an automated system for recording the massive amount of biological and oceanographic data generated 24 hours a day by NOAA scientists during fisheries surveys. During a trawl survey, fish and invertebrates from each haul are sorted, counted and weighed by species. Scientists record data from individual fish, such as sex, weight, length and even stomach contents, resulting in tens of thousands of new data points every day. Before NOAA rolled out FSCS in 2001 aboard the ship Albatross IV, scientists recorded all data by hand, an incredibly tedious process. With FSCS, however, data are recorded digitally which is much faster, allows integration of biological and oceanographic data. It also enables NOAA to obtain critical real-time information to assess and manage the health of the marine ecosystem and individual fish stocks.
FSCS uses a Limnoterra FMB4 (fish measuring board) which has a magnetic pen to upload the length of an organism within a millimeter, and software that annotates all of the data on length, mass, sex, etc. The software has an index of species scientific names and can print labels for specimen samples that are to be shipped to other scientists and to the National Seafood Inspection Laboratory in
We use FSCS 24 hours a day, and I can't imagine how NOAA scientists did this work without it.
I'm enjoying my 12-hour shifts processing fish, shrimp and invertebrates on the Oregon II. Our noon-to-midnight watch is working well together and starting to bond.
My watch-mates in the Oregon II wet lab.
I'm seeing lots of very cool marine life that we're hauling up from the bottom of the Gulf with our trawling net. Here are just a few of the things I've seen in the past two days:
Singlespot frogfish - Antennarius radiosus.
Note the lure on its snout.
Examining the stomach contents of a catfish.
Red snapper - Lutjanus campechanus.
Camoflage in the Sargassum. Can you spot the crabs?