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Dispatches from the field

Surveying the depths of remote Aleutian Islands

Trawl net
Scientists will tow (or trawl) a Poly Nor'easter net like this one to collect biological samples  Photo: NOAA Fisheries

Aleutians Survey
Fish in basket
What's Happening
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What's Happening

July 1, 2016- For the next couple of months, scientists from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center are conducting a survey of the extensive Aleutian Islands chain off Alaska. The Aleutians cover over 900 nautical miles–that’s roughly the distance from Seattle to San Francisco.

The islands divide the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea and are separated by deep passes and narrow channels. Strong currents and rough weather often make collecting data difficult. But the waters provide an important habitat for commercially valuable fish and crab stocks.

The goal of the survey is to collect biological information on key crab and groundfish species including Pacific cod, Atka mackerel, Pacific ocean perch and various rockfish and skates. Researchers will use trawl nets, nets pulled from behind boats, to collect species data. Information about the fish population will help determine fishing-catch levels to ensure that fisheries are sustainable.

Meet the Blogger

Wayne Palsson
Wayne Palsson

Wayne Palsson will be sharing his observations from the survey, which ends in August. Palsson is a scientist who supervises the Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska Bottom Trawl Survey team.

He has been studying groundfish in the Pacific Ocean for more than 30 years.

July 8   >>>

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