Welcome to this year's blog detailing our field season at McMurdo Station, Antarctica! We are a team of biologists from Portland State University who study the fishes of the extremely cold waters of the Southern Ocean. We will be collecting fish from McMurdo Sound, an icy body of water that borders the Ross Ice Shelf at 78 degrees south latitude. Our studies are focused on the impact of increasing water temperatures on the physiology of these extremely sensitive and ecologically important species.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First fish!


Once the group was all trained up on safety, survival, and vehicle trainings, it was time to take the B308 Pisten Bully for a spin and go catch some fish. Our first stop was a close fish hut to station, at a place called the Jetty. The ice is about 4-6 feet thick, the water about 60-70 feet deep. A wide hole was drilled here for divers to access, and we figured we'd see what fish would be hanging around. Marissa Lee was the first one to reel in her catch (above), soon followed by Dan Hassumani (below).

These fish are Trematomus bernacchii, more commonly known to us as "bernies, " less commonly known as the emerald rockcod, and an all-around common species found in this part of Antarctica. They enjoy laying on the bottom of the ocean and not doing much. By the end of the evening, we reeled in five bernies to bring back to the aquarium at the Crary Lab in McMurdo.

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