Sailing the Barents Sea

In the past two weeks we took part in a survey of the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) to get more insight about how the data from such a survey is collected and what kind of work researchers do on such a ship. The survey took as from Tromsø along the continental shelf back to Longyearbyen.

And although I was really seasick at first, everything was fine again after two days and it was great to be on board. We as students were split up in two groups to help and learn from the personnel on board. My shift was from 12am till 18am and from 12pm till 06pm. We participated in analysing catches in the fish lab (which you can see on the picture), learned about how acoustic data is collected and we participated in applying netting to test new trawl gear. All the scientist on the ship were very nice and always willing to explain us what kind of projects they were working on. They were very patience with us. Even if we, after explaining us several times, still asked what the difference was between 0-group long rough dab and a 0-group Greenland Halibut, two species of flatfish. And the food that we got was so nice as well! Two warm meals a day, different types of breakfast to choose from and always fresh fruit available. During our spare time, we often went on the bridge of the ship to look out for whales. Often we saw nothing, but one time was really exciting because we saw Cetacean’s everywhere! On the portside there were White-beaked dolphins springing out of the water and on starboard we saw Minkey whales and Fin whales. It was so cool! And at another moment, the White-beaked dolphins were only a couple of meters away from the ship, it was so nice to see them so close.