The SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division’s Rockfish Recruitment and Ecosystem Assessment Survey began on Wednesday May 20th after loading and preparing the ship the previous day in San Francisco. The cruise is beginning somewhat later than typical start dates due to mechanical problems on the R/V Miller Freeman. This is the first time since the survey was initiated in 1983 that it has taken place on a vessel other than the recently retired R/V David Starr Jordan.
As of Friday the cruise had successfully completed two nights of trawling, including a set of paired trawls with the F/V Excalibur, which should be useful in evaluating changes in catch rates that may be associated with fishing from the new platform. Catches of juvenile rockfish as well as other species were good in these first two nights, early signs that this may be a productive year for rockfish recruitment.
(May 26, 2009)