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Mohammed Moustahfid, Abdellatif Boumaaz, Sid'Ahmed Ould Hemed, Hakima Zidane, Jan Frode Wilhelmsen , Espen Bagøien, Paul Robinson, Alvheim Oddgeir , Eva Garcia Isarch, Fransisco Ramil, Kathrine Michalsen, Frøydis Lygre. In front: Jamal Settih, Agouzouk Abdelaaziz, Abdoulaye Djiba
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8th Cruise Diary: Impressions from the northwest-Africa ecosystem cruise with Dr. Fridtjof Nansen

After working together on R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen for two weeks, it is time to say goodbye to our five Moroccan colleagues. Conducting an Ecosystem surveys demands a tremendous effort. We are therefore grateful to all the people that have participated in the surveys. Without your dedication and professionally it would not have been possible to collect such a huge amount of samples in such a good quality and within such a short time. “Team Norway” whish you the best for the future and hope that you have found the time onboard inspiring and useful.

 In the following text each participants, leaving the vessel in Las Palmas, shares their main impressions from their time onboard: (see more pictures at the bottom of the page) 
Boumaaz Abdellatif

My name is Boumaaz Abdellatif, I am the manager of the Laboratory of survey in demersal resources at the National Institute of Fisheries Research. I work with stock assessment of cephalopods.
I want to thank the captain and crew of the vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen for their support and hospitality. I thank also the Head of Mission and the Norwegian scientific team, and I will not forget to thank my scientific colleagues from Mauritania, Senegal, Spain and Morocco.
This is my second mission on this ship. The principal objective of my first participation was to explore the deep sea in year 2000. I received training on the regional database and information system of the country side "Nansis" in Dakar, and it is an opportunity to apply my knowledge in this campaign.

The present cruise allows me to participate in a multidisciplinary study including fisheries and oceanography, sedimentology and geology, monitoring of cetaceans and birds nationally for all the Moroccan Atlantic ZEE and regional level with regard to areas of shared stocks and hosting of common interest.

It will help monitor climate change and the response of the Canary Current ecosystem, whose northern part including the Moroccan Atlantic ZEE constitutes a transition zone, resulting in a variable productivity, biodiversity, abundance and species composition. I will not fail to note how impressed I am by the safety on board, the scientific equipment of the vessel, and the coordination on the ship. This is an opportunity to work with researchers from other countries, institutes and universities for the combination of basic and applied research.

Responsable du laboratoire des Ressources Demersales
National Institute of Fisheries Research
2,Rue Tiznit Casablanca Maroc
E-mail: abdboumaaz@gmail.com

Hakima Zidane

Salam; I am Hakima Zidane, doctor in aquaculture and specialized in culturing of oysters, and employed by the Institute of Fisheries Research (INRH) in Casablanca, Morocco. I am responsible for the benthos of coastal areas. I want to thank all the staff on the ship Dr. Fridtjof Nansen for their kind coordination and team work, and also their moral support during the frequent discomfort of seasickness I had.  The ecosystem work conducted in this campaign, allowed me to deepen my knowledge in the field of epi- and endobenthos and establish contacts with scientists in multidisciplinary areas.

In the beginning I was wondering if the bottom trawl stations were chosen according to the resources, the bathymetry, or the nature of the substrate? I have now learned that the demersal fish resources are covered with a swept area trawl survey within predefined depth regions (30-50m, 50-100m, 100-200, 200-500 m, >500m) on transects spaced 20 NM apart. In addition dedicated ecosystem transects has been designed with spacing 60 NM apart (every third transect). During these transects additional CTDs, zooplankton and benthos biodiversity samples are taken at 7 fixed depths (20, 30, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000m).

In conclusion, I would like to thank everyone for their efforts for the success of this important scientific survey.

Dr Hakima ZIDANE
National Institute of Marine Research
Laboratory of Biological Oceanography
Bd Sidi Abderhamanne, Casablanca 20030 Morocco
Tél +212 522 940771
+212 522 940695
Fax +212 522 940678
E-mail: zidaneinrh95@hotmail.fr

Agouzouk Abdelasziz

Hello, I am AGOUZOUK ABDELAZIZ from National Institute of Marine Research (INRH), Departement of Oceanography and Aquaculture Studies. I have worked in the laboratory of Physical Oceanography since 1999. Our programmes are divided in two:

Marine oceanography

Long-term surveillence of upwelling variability with emphasis on:

  • Physical aspects: cruises, monitoring by remote sensing products
  • Biological aspects with emphasis on fisheries resources (larvae and eggs)
  • Interaction between bio and physical aspects (biophysical models)

Coastal Oceanography

Long-term monitoring of coastal marine ecosytems (lagoons, bays and estuaries) with emphasis on:

  • Physical and Biological aspects

I am also participating in many international projects:
PIRATA (Pilot Research Moored in the Tropical Atlantic: study of Ocean Atmosphere interaction in the North – East Atlantic and their impact on the climate variability and regional variability and regional oceanographic variability), MEDAR/MEDATLAS, ENCORA, CARBOCEAN, SEADATANET, Sea Search, ECOOP, MYOCEAN.

Now I am onboard the research vessel “Dr. Fridtjof Nansen” to participate in a survey, and study ecosystems of the northwest Africa. I will be on this ship for 20 days, which is very useful to me since I meet a lot of scientific people from different countries (Norway, Spain, Senegal, and Mauritania). I am really enjoying myself; hard work, new friends, practice sport, watching the latest movies on my free time, eating delicious food, and when you meet Norwegian people there is a nice smile in their face.  I am interested in the equipment of this vessel. I have seen a CTD (SBE911plus with rosette) for the measurement and sampling of different physical, chemical and biological (chlorophyll ‘a’ and phytoplankton) parameters of the environment, as well as WP2 and Kiel Multinet for collecting zooplankton.

We have practiced the security procedures which is very important so that we know the exits and what to do if some accident were to occur. I was also interested in learning about the ADCP, but I think we do not have match time to do that. I really like this vessel and I like Norwegian people, and am sure that working on Dr. Fridtjof Nansen makes us very friendly.  I would like to thank the captain and all staff of this vessel for everything, and Kathrine and Espen for their help.

National Institute of Marine Research
Laboratory of Physical Oceanography
Bd Sidi Abderhamanne, Casablanca 20030 Morocco
Tél +212 661984711

Jamal Settih

Hello, I am Jamal Settih, a fisheries engineer working for the Institute of Fisheries Research (INRH) in Nador, Morocco. I am in charge of acoustic surveys in the Mediterranean Sea. I want to thank the crew and scientists of the research-vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen for their hospitality and their availability whenever you need them.

The multidisciplinary character of this scientific survey, which is based on living marine resources and biodiversity, habitats, and water quality, will allow me to accumulate significant experience in all these topics. In terms of work done onboard, I have not experienced problems identifying the fish captured during demersal trawling, as I have done more than 10 surveys before in this region. The only thing I regret during this survey is that I could not have more time to talk with Norwegian scientists about acoustic methods in estimation of small pelagic stocks. Moreover, the system of work every 6 hours does not allow me to sleep well and be 100% concentrated.

In conclusion I would like to thank everyone for their efforts for the success of this important scientific survey. In the future I would like to have the opportunity of participating in acoustical scientific campaigns with our Norwegian friends who are pioneers in this field. This would help me to improve my skills and learn about the use of acoustics in the estimation of stocks of fish species.

Settih Jamal
Fisheries engineer
INRH BP 493, Nador 62000, Morocco
Mail: settihjamal@gmail.com

Moustahfid mohammed

My name is Moustahfid mohammed, and I work at the National Institute of Marine Research (INRH), Biological Sampling Station Safi Morocco
I´m getting a great opportunity by participating on the cruise with R/V Dr. Fridjof Nansen and learning about the Nansen sampling program and the ecosystem outside of West Africa. Especially, practicing new sampling techniques (electronic fish-meter, identification of demersal deep-water species, reading images from acoustic screen, etc).

I want to thank you for the experience of sharing, the open discussions, and points of views on various topics. As a learning experience this is a perfect example of how one can improve.

Moustahfid mohammed
National Institute of Marine Research (INRH)
Biological Sampling Station Safi Morocco
Tel: 0021266012219
E-mail: moustahfid_47@hotmail.com