Recently in Jellyfish Category

Unearthly Floating Objects

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The two-masted schooner was sailing downeast, five miles off Great Wass Island, when its crew hauled a four-foot frame with a long trailing net up out of the water and onto the deck. Despite nearly an hour under tow, the net yielded a mere tablespoon of living matter. It was August 1912, and oceanographer Dr. Henry Bigelow had been towing nets all night, and for many days prior, to take stock of the sea life in the Gulf of Maine. Day after day, each tow had brought with it a rich abundance of animals. But here, at what he labeled Station 33, he was surprised to find only tiny Staurostoma--a whitecross jellyfish.

For the next hundred miles, as he surveyed the waters of the gulf from Grand Manan Island down to Penobscot Bay, the pattern was the same--the oceanographer found a steady stream of jellyfish, and little else. He was mystified, writing:

 "This was quite the contrary to what we expected, as the northeastern corner of the gulf and the Bay of Fundy have always been credited with a rich pelagic life. Our nets did not yield a single young fish along this whole stretch of coast." the rest HERE

Salp watch 2014

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Welcome to Salp Watch 2014. Lots of salp sightings this fall near the coast. Here's one we pulled up in a bucket during a GNATS cruise across the Gulf of Maine in September.


It looks like Thalia democratica. The bloom was so dense you could see it off the bow for miles and miles.

In October, a group from the New England Aquarium reported huge salp blooms in the Bay of Fundy:

And around the same time I got this email:

"Yesterday out lobstering there was an incredible abundance of what I think were salps in the water near the surface. They were ladder like creatures about 4-6 inches long. In some areas there were dozens in a square meter (rough estimate). This picture doesn't do it justice but if you look at the lower right hand corner you can see a couple of them. The VHF chatter was all about how guys were having to clean their raw water intakes because they were getting clogged with jellies."


We have a salp model up and running at Bigelow now, and I hope to set this in forecasting mode for the bloom next fall (which is when our Maine salps bloom).

Nick Record, signing off

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