Carlos Bento (local cruise leader) and Domingos Zacarias holding a fish from the catch.
For most of the Mozambique National team the cruise is the first and a lifetime experience. Being onboard the Dr. Fridtjof Nansen we really learned how to be a man about open sea research. First of all, we had to adjust to the life on board and learn to sleep while the boat was rocking. Training commenced on the first day. The fish stomach analysis were excellent and today we know a lot more about what can be done on fish studies. Diana Zaera was a very skilled and passionate teacher in explaining the whole analyses process, but a lot more practical lectures are still needed.
On the taxonomic side we have even learned about the Myctophides, not only about ID knowledge, but also about their diurnal and nocturnal movements. We also learned the importance of benthic organism in the food chain and their importance in the ecosystem as a whole.
Labelling of benthos samples is a time consuming but essential part of the work.
The mapping process is amazing and we are exposed to this extreme technology for the first time. Even the processing of data onboard the ship was an astonishing experience. The integration of the locals must carry on into the next cruises, because that is the only way we can follow in the foot steps of other countries well developed in fisheries research.
By Carlos Bento