25 October 2018. By Voyage Leader Dr Moira Decima.
Cycle 1 begins!
We initiated our search for salps about 45 miles SE from Banks Peninsula, before the sun arose on Wednesday.
We deployed Bongo nets (a special type of net designed to catch plankton) down to 200m and… we found them! Mostly a large salp species called Salpa thompsoni.
This species likes cold waters and probably indicates that subantarctic waters are influencing this area. However, we need deep water, and we need to be far from subsurface features (like seamounts), that might snag the drifting instruments that we plan to place in the water, so we decided to head further out to sea an continue looking for salps.
Dr. Moira Decima (NIWA) and Florian Luskow (University of British Columbia) peer into the contents of the 2m net. [Photo: Sadie Mills]
2m net going into the water. [Photo: Sadie Mills]
We did two more large net (2m) deployments in progressively deeper water, and found salps in each tow, including a mixture of the solitary and colonial stage. We settled on a location in water 1000m deep, 68 miles SE of Banks Peninsula.
We are now starting our first cycle and round the clock science operations!