LIVINGSTON ISLAND NEARSHORE KRILL ECOSYSTEM STUDY

Project Description
2005 Field season: During 1-10 February, the RV Ernest surveyed over 275 n. mi. collecting acoustic backscatter data. At the same time, the RV Yuzhmorgeologiya completed nearly three passes through the nearshore-to-shelf-break survey grid. Stations throughout the survey were occupied at night where CTD and net tow stations were conducted. Also included in this field season were preliminary ... tests of a AUV (Fetch I, Sias-Patterson) which was deployed to conduct bathymetry mapping and determine whether krill swarms could be detected by the vehicle. The AUV work was conducted with Dr. Mark Patterson of VIMS and Sias-Patterson and the Advanced Survey Technologies group at SWFSC led by Dr. David Demer. Except for a near gale which occurred exactly mid-way during the survey period, good weather allowed for extensive survey effort. In addition, instrumented buoys were deployed to test a new engineering design of the buoys used in previous field seasons. Due to technical issues, only limited data were collected during the buoy deployment.

2006 Field season: During 1-10 February, the RV Ernest surveyed over 264 n. mi. collecting acoustic backscatter data. At the same time, the RV Yuzhmorgeologiya completed two passes through the nearshore-to-shelf-break survey grid. Stations throughout the survey were occupied at night where CTD and net tow stations were conducted. An additional small vessel (RV Roald) was deployed with a SIMRAD MS 20 Multibeam echosounder to map bathymetry of the nearshore area and to study krill swarm characteristics. Joint operations (specific survey lines) were conducted with all three vessels). Poor weather and sea state conditions resulted in the loss of two days of survey effort at the beginning and 1 day at the end of the period. We still managed to conduct a comparable amount of survey effort as in 2005 due to few (if any) equipment or vessel malfunctions. Instrumented buoys were deployed and collected data over several days of the survey period.

2007 Field season: During 28 January to 1 February, the RV Ernest surveyed approximately 55 n.mi. collecting acoustic backscatter data. At the same time, the RV Yuzhmorgeologiya completed slightly more than one pass through the nearshore-to-shelf-break survey grid. Stations throughout the survey were occupied at night where CTD and net tow stations were conducted. An additional small vessel (RV Roald) was deployed with a SIMRAD MS 20 Multibeam echosounder to map bathymetry of the nearshore area and to study krill swarm characteristics. Joint operations (specific survey lines) were conducted with the two smaller vessels).The shorter survey period during this field season was a combination of several factors: reduced shiptime for the AMLR survey due to NOAA budgetary constraints (10 day survey period reduced to 7 days) and a combination of weather delays during the AMLR broad area survey and problems with the calibration of the RV Yuzhmorgeologiya echosounder system (7 to 5 days). In addition, during our reduced survey window, we experienced extremely poor weather and dangerous sea conditions which forced us to remain on shore and also damaged equipment when we did venture out. Despite these conditions, we were able to collect data from all three research vessels (Ernest, Roald, Yuzhmorgeologiya) to provide a 3rd year of data for this project. One instrumented buoy was deployed at the start of the nearshore survey period and collected data throughout the survey period.