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New scientists onboard

Last week we experienced that the sea is not always nice and calm along the Mozambiquian coast. Due to strong wind and rough sea the port of Beira was closed for two days, and the planned change of scientists was postponed accordingly.

ingly. For the scientists looking forward to the disembarkation in Beira, the days with waiting outside the harbour felt long, and the delay was a reminder that surveys are seldom carried out as perfectly as intended. However, no time was lost during our stay in Beira, and early Monday morning the first trawl haul for the new scientists onboard was on deck. Once again many of the newcomers had to fight their sea sickness, but with time the sea-life improved as their balance organ adjusted.



Members of the scientific staff waiting for the call in port of Beira, 27.10.2007.

We are currently finishing the northern part of the Sofala bank, and have carried out about 100 trawl stations since the start of the survey. Within a few days we will proceed into less trawlable areas, and the trawling intensity will be reduced and make more time available for calculation of survey estimates and mapping of the distribution of the various stocks.  

Identification of fish species is an important objective of the survey, and the assistance from Elaine and Phil Heemstra ensure that the large variety of species is correctly identified. In addition, this valuable expertise enables Oddgeir Alvheim from the Institute of Marine Research in Norway to correctly name all the species he photographs and stores in a database. These pictures are not only of great help during the current survey, but will also be very useful in Mozambique and elsewhere in the future as they will be freely available for everyone.


Example of a species stored in the database:
 Lutjanus sanguineus   TL 16.5 cm Mozambique  MZ
Tr. st. 98 S 18o 16’ E 37o 08’ Fishing/bottom depth: 35/35 m 30.10.2007 OA

On the behalf of the crew and scientists on board “Dr Fridtjof Nansen”,
Espen Johnsen.