Report on 4th Trans-Atlantic Research cruise

22nd Apr 2014

Report on the 4th Trans-Atlantic Research cruise

On 12th April 2014 the RV Celtic Explorer departed from Galway Docks bound for St. Johns, Newfoundland with a multi-disciplinary team of marine biologists, zoologists, benthic ecologists, marine mammal observers and ornithologists.  This was the 4th consecutive year crossing the North Atlantic to Canada, during which the ship has accumulated almost 18,000km in transit distance and has gathered a lot of biological and environmental data from numerous habitats en route.  This year will be no different and we hope to develop and extend our sampling with some new aims during this trip.  

So what will the team be doing?
  • Study areas of accumulation of the "Deep Scattering Layer"
  • Gather larvae stages of sponges, jellyfish and fish
  • Look at ocean temperature and salinity levels, and the concentration of nutrients and chlorophyll
  • Sample the picoplankton and tiny microscopic plankton that are important for our oxygen 
  • Deploy a weather buoy that helps make the forecasts more accurate. 

IWDG's Aoife Foley BSc writes.......

"38 cetacean sightings so far. Lots of sperm whales and pilot whales. I've been kept really busy doing on average 8-10 hours of observations a day.  In a bit of a big storm the past 36 hours, so nothing much has happened just bunkering down and holding on tight. Ice bergs have started to arrive, saw our first one last night, so I'm now a MIO (Marine Iceberg Observer)  Hopefully the weather will calm in the next 24 hours so we can resume observations.

The following blog provides a daily account of the work being carried out and findings on the trip so far.

Aoife Foley BSc,

BSc Applied Freshwater & Marine Biology
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology & IWDG


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