In early May, SWFSC and NWFSC scientists conducted shakedown mission trials on the new NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker. Primary objectives included testing winches, the net reel, and other instrumentation, as well as basic ship operations such as dynamic positioning.
This represented the first trawl fishing on the Reuben Lasker, with successful deployment of both a Nordic 264 and Cobb midwater trawl. The cruise also included several paired (comparative) trawls with the R/V Ocean Starr (formerly the NOAA ship David Starr Jordan), off of La Jolla and San Clemente Island, which allowed the first samples to be analyzed in the Lasker's science lab (see photo). Differences in catch rates revealed during those trawls were later discovered to be related to differences in the codend liners of the two nets.
All gear and instrumentation performed well, and participants are very much looking forward to conducting surveys on the Reuben Lasker.
Contact: SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division, Groundfish Analysis Team
(July 10, 2014)