Coastal Ocean Program Cruise DE9704 Cruise Instructions


W. Michaels 10/23/96

23 October 1996


NOAA Ship Delaware II

CRUISE INSTRUCTIONS: DE 97-04, COP Predator-Prey Study

Cruise Period: On or about 14-25 April, 1997

Area of Operation: In the Georges Bank region, including Canada's Exclusive Economic Zone (Figure 1).

Objectives: The primary objective is to investigate predation on larval fish (e.g., Atlantic cod and haddock) by pelagic fish predators (e.g., Atlantic herring and mackerel) on Georges Bank. Objectives are described in more detail in the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program's (COP) Georges Bank Study FY97 Implementation Plan.


14 April: Load scientific equipment, embark scientific personnel, and depart from Woods Hole, Massachusetts to begin cruise activities.

14-25 April: Conduct work as described in Operational Plans.

25 April: Arrive in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, off-load scientific samples, and disembark scientific personnel.

Operational Plans: A systematic grid survey of approximately 50 stations will be conducted across the southern region of Georges Bank during the first week of the cruise. The survey will be repplicated during the second half of the cruise. At each station, pelagic fish predators and their planktonic prey (emphasis is on larval cod and haddock) will be sampled. Hydroacoustical and oceanographic data will also be simultaneously collected. This COP Predator-Prey Study will be coordinated with the U.S. GLOBEC's Georges Bank field studies, therefore flexibility in changing the sampling operations in conjunction with other research vessels is desirable.

At each station, a 61 cm bongo sampler (fitted with 0.333 and 0.505 mm mesh plankton nets) with an attached CTD will be deployed to determine density distributions of larval fish and conductivity-temperature-depth profiles. The bongo/CTD array will be fished double-obliquely at about 1.5-2 knots according to standard MARMAP procedures. A larger sampler (i.e., 5 m Methot trawl fitted with a 1.0 mm mesh net) may also be fished obliquely for capturing post-larval and juvenile age-0 fish.

Immediately after each bongo/CTD and Methot haul, a commercial midwater trawl (i.e., Gourock 42350S Quantum trawl) will be fished to collect potential pelagic fish predators of larval fish. This trawl will be fished at 4.5 knots for 30 minute duration about 3-5 m off the bottom. The mouth opening of the trawl will be roughly 500 m. The trawl will be monitored using two mensuration systems (i.e., third wire Simrad FS900 Trawl Monitoring System and Simrad ITI Wireless Trawl Positioning and Monitoring System). The trawl's cod-end will be lined with 2x1 mm mesh liner.

After each trawl, a surface bucket temperature and secchi disc casts will be taken before heading to the next station. Bridge, station, and catch data will be recorded on standard NEFSC trawl and bongo logsheets using standard NEFSC (Northeast Fisheries Science Center) procedures.

Acoustical data for estimating the abundance of pelagic fish will be collected continuously throughout the cruise using the vessel's Simrad EK500 Scientific Sounder and haul-mounted split-beam transducers. Three frequencies (12, 38, and 120 kHz) will be used simultaneously. Echo-integration of the acoustical data will be done at sea using the Simrad BI500 Post-processing software on Sparc-10 workstations. The SCS alpha workstation and SCS sensing system will also be used throughout the cruise for continuous navigational, meteorological, and environmental data.

The day of the cruise will be devoted to the calibration of the 12, 38, and 120 kHz transducers and ambient noise testing of the EK500. Calibration of each transducer involves suspending a standard calibration sphere below the vessel directly within the acoustical beam. Typically, this is accomplished by suspending a sphere using 3 monofilament lines attached at three positions around the vessel. Calibration and noise tests will be conducted in Cape Cod Bay in a minimum depth of 20 meters during slack tide and low wind conditions. Tests could be conducted along Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's dock if windy conditions exists.

Scientific sampling on deck will involve weighing and measuring fish collected by the midwater trawl. Trawl catches will be processed using standard NEFSC methods. In addition, age-0 cod and haddock collected by the trawl will be measured to the nearest mm and recorded on the back of the trawl log. Stomach contents of selected fish predators will be preserved in 10% formalin solution, Subsamples (0.1-0.5 ml) of unidentified age-0 fish prey found in stomachs will be frozen in liquid nitrogen for identification of species (i.e., sand lance, cod or haddock) using DNA and polyclonal probes in the laboratory. Stomach samples of other predator species will be examined at sea. Bongo samples will be sorted for ichthyoplankton during the cruise. Bongo samples will be preserved in 4% formalin solution. Other special biological sampling requests may be completed as time permits.

Data Management: ROSCOP 3 forms (IOC SC-90/WS-23) will be completed and forward to NODC, Washington, D.C. All station and biological data will be recorded on standard NEFSC trawl logs and after completion of quality control it will be entered into the FCDI/NEFSC data management system. The cruise report will be submitted by the Chief Scientist to NEFSC within 20 days following the completion of the cruise.

Communications: Radio communications will be conducted between DELAWARE II and KAC Woods Hole daily via the PAKRAT System on frequencies of 6503.5 kHz in the a.m., 8714.0 kHz in the p.m., and 2613.0 kHz for scientific traffic at 0930 EST.

Hazardous Material: Specifications of NC INSTRUCTIONS 6280A will be followed.


Watches: Vessel operations will be conducted continuously 24 hours per day. The scientific watch schedule will be six hours "on", six hours "off". Scientific personnel will be on duty 12 hours each day.

Meals: A scientific complement of up to 14 persons will be given meals beginning with the day of sailing, extending throughout the cruise, and ending with termination of the cruise.

Post-Cruise Meeting: A formal post-cruise meeting will be held aboard the vessel on completion of the cruise. The Commanding Officer, Port Captain, Scientific Vessel Coordinator, Chief Scientist, and whomever else is detailed will attend. The Port Captain will be responsible for the disposition of the minutes of the meeting.

Changes to Instructions: All changes will be made in accordance with NOAA Directive 17-17.

Ancillary Tasks: Complete all ancillary tasks as detailed in AMC directive 1803.00.

Personnel List (Scientific)1

Name Title Organization

Michaels, William Chief Scientist NMFS, NEFSC, Woods Hole, MA

Demer, David Acoustic Engineer NMFS, SWFSC, LaJolla, CA

Rountree, Rodney Fish. Res. Biol. NMFS, NEFSC, Woods Hole, MA

McHugh, Nancy Biol. Fish. Tech. NMFS, NEFSC, Woods Hole, MA

Brian Kaminer Computer Programmer NMFS, NEFSC, Woods Hole, MA

Clearances for ALBATROSS IV Cruise 96-06, COP Predator-Prey Study

Freddie L. Jeffries Michael Sissenwine

Director Science and Research Director

Atlantic Marine Center Northeast Region

Equipment and Supply List: The following sampling and scientific equipment will be placed aboard the R/V ALBATROSS IV prior to departure:


1. Gourock midwater trawl 2 NMFS, NEFSC, Woods Hole, MA

2. 650 kg Gourock WV doors 1 pair " " " " "

3. Gourock trawl bridle rigging ample " " " " "

4. Spare sections and mending twine ample " " " " "

5. Yankee 36 bottom trawl 1 " " " " "

6. 450 kg polyvalent doors 1 pair " " " " "

7. Trawl rigging hardware, etc. ample " " " " "

8. 5 m Methot trawl 1 " " " " "

9. 61 cm bongo (.333 & .505 mm nets) 2 " " " " "

10. Special sampling supplies ample " " " " "

Wire fish baskets, 2 bushel 5 " " " " "

5 gal. buckets 10 " " " " "

Electronic scales 4 " " " " "

Fish measuring boards 4 " " " " "

Polyethylene specimen bags 1 box " " " " "

Gloves rubberized/cotton fish 12 pairs " " " " "

Specimen jars ample " " " " "

Preservative (formalin, ethol) ample " " " " "

11. Bucket Cast and Thermometers ample " " " " "

12. Salinity bottles 1 case " " " " "

13. SeaBird CTD profiler 2 " " " " "

14. Dewer filled with liquid nitrogen 1 (35 liters) " " " "

15. Wild microscopes 2 " " " " "

16. Sorting light tables & trays 2 " " " " "

17. PC-computers & printers 3 " " " " "

18. Sparc-10 Workstations 2 " " " " "

19. Simrad ITI Mensuration System 1 DELAWARE II

20. Simrad FS900 Mensuration System 1 DELAWARE II

21. Simrad EK500 Scientific Sounder 1 DELAWARE II

22. Simrad BI500 Post-Processor 1 DELAWARE II

23. SCS Computer & sensing systems 1 DELAWARE II

Figure 1. Area of operations for NOAA Ship DELAWARE II, Cruise 97-04, NOAA's Coastal Ocean Program (COP) Predator-Prey Study during 14-25 April, 1996.