AMLR 2003 Weekly Report No. 9

9 March 2003


1. The R/V Yuhzmorgeologiya departed Punta Arenas, Chile on 8 March 2002 at 0001   hours en route to the South Orkney Islands, Antarctica.  This is the third and final leg of the 2003 AMLR field season, and will consist of intensive sampling of finfish, benthic invertebrates, acoustically derived krill and myctophid indices of abundance, and habitat characterization within the 500 m isobath of the South Orkney Islands and Antarctic Peninsula.


2. Sixteen scientists of six countries are participating in this expedition.  They are:


C. Jones, SWFSC, chief scientist

J. Ashford, ODU, CQFE, finfish

K. Detrich, U. of Wash, finfish

A. DeVries, U. of Chicago, finfish

D. Doolittle, VIMS, acoustics, bottom typing, trawl video, phys. oceanography

S. Hanchet, NIWA, New Zealand, finfish

S. Kim, Moss Landing Marine Labs, benthic

K-H. Kock, Institut fur Seefischeri, Germany, finfish

S. Lockhart, UCSC, benthic, phys. oceanography

V. Loeb, Moss Landing Marine Labs, fish & benthic

R. Mooi, Cal. Academy of Sciences, benthic

T. Near, UC Davis, finfish

R. Rowley, Moss Landing Marine Labs, finfish & benthic

A. Thurber, UCSC, benthic

T. Turk, NWFSC, finfish

S. Wilhelms, BSH, Germany, finfish


3. The ship is outfitted with a commercial size bottom trawl and net sonar system for demersal fish and benthic invertebrate sampling.  A small sampling net will be fitted to the trawl bridle to take high resolution samples of benthic invertebrates. The ship's EK-500 echosounder will collect information on krill and myctophid distribution, as well as acoustic seabed classification for habitat characterization.  The acoustically classified seabed types will be ground-truthed using a camera mounted grab sampler.  A digital underwater video system will be deployed across contrasting seafloor habitats to visually survey fish and benthic communities.  Instruments to measure physical seawater properties and meteorological conditions will also be used.


4.  We are currently south of the Antarctic Convergence in the Drake Passage.  Weather and sea state are currently favorable, spirits are high, and we are making good progress toward the northern coast of Coronation Island.  We anticipate arriving at our first station on the morning of 11 March 2003.


C. Jones sends