Updates from the Field (No Pictures Yet…)

I want to start this post off by apologizing for forgetting the upload cable for my camera.  Because of this glaring oversight, I won’t be able to post any pictures from the trip until I get back.  Here’s hoping I describe everything well enough to make it interesting.

The weather finally cleared enough for us to get out on the water dogfish tagging today.  We were working with two fishermen named Mike and Max, who were good people (Max is a fellow Rhody Ram).  When they aren’t longlining for cod, haddock, and dogfish, Mike and Max are part of the harpoon fishery for tuna, which is completely and utterly badass.  So how’d we do?

We spent the vast majority of the day tooling around Cape Cod Bay looking for dogfish.  Normally, fishermen try to avoid both finding and catching dogfish (unless they’re part of the dogfish fishery) and still manage to run into them.  However, because the weather effectively warped the environmental conditions of the Bay we failed to find any dags until later in the afternoon.  Then, in one continuous four-set longline, we caught and tagged 594.  Now I know why deck hands are usually in pretty good shape.

A few cod were also present on the longline (surprisingly devoid of dogfish bites) and I also caught sight of the dorsal fin of a North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered animals on the planet.  All in all a decent day on the water, and we’ll be repeating the process again tomorrow.  Since we accomplished most of our tagging needs today, we’ll have plenty of time tomorrow for surgeries to implant acoustic transmitters into some of the dags, as well as some more lavages to help validate my shark puking method.

Keep checking back for more field updates, and eventually those pictures.