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Earth Science Applications Travelogue: Day 10: Tuesday May 20
May 20, 2014

[image-78]Winds have slightly increased since the weekend, which makes deploying and retrieving equipment a little more challenging. For the first time since we left Galveston, Tuesday afternoon a “hotspot” of Bluefin tuna spawning was found with 65 small larvae (being small indicates eggs hatched very recently and likely larvae not drifted very far) identified at one station (28 50.15 N 88 0.19 W). We are continuing to sample in the Desoto Canyon region of the north central Gulf to determine the extent of recent spawning in this area.

[image-51]NASA satellite data products are the basis for the images Roffers’ is providing to support the Bluefin sampling cruise. These products are very valuable inputs to habitat suitability models for the Atlantic Bluefin tuna and other tuna species.  

However, the satellite based product being provided goes beyond the information in a particular data product due to the processing and analyses that results in a Roffers’ image that is unique and provides multiple layers of information on oceanographic features such as temperature, eddies, currents location and direction and fronts. The Roffers’ image is a good illustration of the type unique targeted product that can be developed using the information provided in multiple satellite images.

This processed product provided on a daily basis is extremely useful to Chief Scientist John Lamkin during sampling cruises. He uses the satellite data as a type guidebook or roadmap that has the features or information that he needs to chart a path to the most likely location of Bluefin tuna spawning. The linkage between physical oceanographic attributes measured by NASA satellites and the early life history of critical species such as the Atlantic Bluefin tuna is a strong partnership that is enhancing the management of global fisheries and offers great potential for more future contributions.

It is early Tuesday evening and we are heading toward port in Gulfport, Mississippi, with arrival early Wednesday morning expected. Wednesday’s blog will include a synopsis of the cruise results to date from Chief Scientist John Lamkin.

Watch a video of dolphins swimming alongside the ship:[image-36]

 

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Dolphins off the bow of the F.G. Walton Smith.
Dolphins off the bow of the F.G. Walton Smith.
Image Credit: 
Maury Estes
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[image-51]
Roffers’ latest image depicting various oceanographic features important to identify Bluefin tuna spawning areas and location of the Bluefin tuna larvae “hotspot” for May 20, shown in black circle.
Roffers’ latest image depicting various oceanographic features important to identify Bluefin tuna spawning areas and location of the Bluefin tuna larvae “hotspot” for May 20, shown in black circle.
Image Credit: 
Maury Estes
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[image-78]
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Page Last Updated: June 9th, 2014
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