Blog post

Rockall Trough and more blue whiting!

Published on
April 4, 2011

After the last haul of blue whiting on the 2nd April we headed west on our last transect of the first survey half at 55º2’N.

This took us into the deep waters of the Rockall trough. When taking CTD samples to measure salinity, temperature and depth of the water, the probe was deployed down to its maximum range (1000 m).

On the picture you can see the cable with the CTD probe, which at that point was at about 1000 meters depth:


IMG001492011040218491.jpg
IMG00150201104021851.jpg
The weather situation at that point was still relatively good. But heading west, we could already see that something is coming towards us.
The weather situation at that point was still relatively good. But heading west, we could already see that something is coming towards us.
During the night, we even hit a hale storm, leaving some hale on the deck (white stuff next to the net and containers).
During the night, we even hit a hale storm, leaving some hale on the deck (white stuff next to the net and containers).

Close to the shelf edge, coming back on the next transect at 53º32’N, we spotted the biggest blue whiting marks so far on our survey, sitting at about 400 meters water depth:

IMG00160201104031622.jpg
Because the wind was picking up at that stage, we had to steam back, over the marks and fish on them going in an eastward direction. The red object is the boat and the red line is the cruise track. We marked the fish with black symbols on the chart:
IMG00166201104031651.jpg

That meant steaming against the wind again, resulting in some spectacular “wave hopping” over the 5-7 meter high swell:

IMG00158201104031612.jpg
IMG00156201104031611.jpg

Here, a link to a video capturing some of it: VIDEO

The trawl turned out to contain mostly blue whiting, but also some odd species such as the long ribbon-like deal fish seen in the first two pictures:

That was the last trawl before we had to steam back to shore to shelter from the approaching weather (seen here on the horizon while steaming east after trawling):


On Sunday evening, after finishing the transect, the decision was made to head to Lough Swilly in north-west Ireland . We will go ashore there in a small village called Rathmullan and wait until the worst of the bad weather is over.