Saturday, March 23, 2013

Got squids!

Squid Lf04_2013 housed in a tank back at IMAR's Marine Lab. The squid is about 1 m total length, looking healthy and swimming in the water column, shortly after we took this pic. The striped tape is to help the pelagic squid's see the wall. They are not used to such structures.
A rough day at sea but we caught two squids. This year has been a difficult year for squid fishing. Most of the local fisherman are not even fishing for them right now. Our work is not an exception but we were lucky enough to catch two today. That's pretty good for this year. One is big (about a meter in total length), one is small (about 40 cm). We brought them back to the marine lab and got the squid situated in their own tanks. The look pretty healthy for being brought up from about 250 m depth, transported in a coolers back to the lab, and then moved to holding tanks. We try to keep the water similar in temperature to the temperature at their natural depth (about 5 C). We also keep the tanks covered to minimize light exposure (being from depth, they're not used to lots of light).  At night, there is a small red light bulb to give them some light so they can see the sides of their tank. Today was a busy fishing day (and a rough day on the water). They both look good, so we are planning to work with the squid tomorrow.  It'll be a long, interesting day.

Our squid catching boat. Pedro Afonso, our main Portuguese collaborator is in the foreground. Norberto, our captain, boat owner and Azorean icon (center), is checking out his vessel after a rough day at sea. 

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