Looking back at Lone Ranger from the small tender boat, Scout, gives perspective on the increased swell. Patches of Sargassum were more difficult to detect in these conditions, especially from Scout. Spotters positioned on the upper decks of Lone Ranger radioed us with directional information to help our efforts. Most of the patches were dinner plate-sized.
We collected five different Sargassum fish (Histrio histrio) in one sampling effort this morning. All were returned back to the sea with clumps of seaweed to help ensure their success.
Another Sargassum fish from the morning collection. Each was placed in a separate sampling jar while we measured size and photographed before returning to the sea. It was important to keep them separate as they are known to be aggressive predators and cannibalistic.
Deckhands Michael Utley and Simon Tyrrell collect from the largest Sargassum aggregations we’ve seen so far. Surprisingly, the species abundance and diversity in the samples were extremely low.
The size, abundance, and diversity of macrofauna seems much smaller in our samples so far this cruise. This species of Latreutes shrimp is about a centimeter in length, one of the larger animals that we’ve collected.
—Debbie Nail Meyer