So, did you figure out what Jeremy was doing in that small, boxy, net like thing? That would be the brilliant idea of my fellow Tufts grad, Chris Doller, a Senior Aquarist at the Aquarium.
Each collecting trip we spend one morning seining. Seining? Let me explain. We went out to a location called South Cat Cay with a net approximately 100 feet long by 10 feet wide. Using excellent team work (involving pullers, beaters, and Bronwyn, the only person willing to volunteer to be snorkler to look for snags), we did two seine pulls to collect some of the key species we were looking for on this trip--needlefish and barracuda. (Which was the bonus of being the snorkler, since Bronwyn was the first to see the two barracuda we caught, one of which we released).
So where did that pen come in? This invention was a place for us to keep the fish while we were waiting to transport them back to the boat. While we did note that we probably could have saved ourselves a bunch of construction time by simply buying a playpen, Chris's invention did allow us to provide a safe and healthy environment for the fish prior to transport back to the boat, rather than putting them immediately into coolers. And we were quite lucky to catch an enormous number of needlefish, a barracuda, and grunts. Any other fish that we caught that we were not interested in, we released back into the ocean side and they were free to go.
After we returned from seining, we ate a delicious lunch (we could dedicate an entire blog to the delicious food that Matt has been preparing for us) and headed in for our afternoon dives.
On each trip, Sherrie selects a trip fish--this time, the black durgon. On the first dive of the afternoon, we caught our first one. Of course, there is a little competition over whose was the first--Sherrie and Captain Lou caught two, and Chris and Jeremy got one. We're not entirely sure who caught it first, although Chris and Jeremy got theirs to the barrel first--so you decide.
Ever wonder how we care for the fish on the boat? We're hoping tomorrow to show you how the barracuda eat.