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Date: 2 April 1999


Cruise: MF99-07 (FOCI)


Bering Sea


12 May Depart Dutch Harbor
20 May Arrive Dutch Harbor

Participating organizations:

NOAA - Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC)
NOAA - Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL)
Oregon State University (OSU)


These instructions, with FOCI Standard Operating Instructions for NOAA Ship MILLER FREEMAN, 1999, present complete information for this cruise.


Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (FOCI) is an effort by NOAA and associated academic scientists. At present, FOCI consists of a Shelikof Strait (western Gulf of Alaska) walleye pollock project, and a NOAA Coastal Ocean Program project: Southeast Bering Sea Carrying Capacity. FOCI also supports associated projects, such as the Arctic Research Initiative, U.S. GLOBEC, and NSF Inner Front Study, that address scientific issues related to FOCI. FOCI's goal is to understand the effects of abiotic and biotic variability on ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea in order to discern the physical and biological processes that determine recruitment variability of commercially valuable finfish and shellfish stocks in Alaskan waters.



This is a pilot study designed to identify habitat characteristics of mesopelagic fishes and squids and their predators (marine mammals and birds) in the southeastern Bering Sea Green Belt, and the physical mechanisms that define that habitat. Three sampling strategies will be used: 1) midwater tows day and night at three depths to sample mesopelagic fishes and cephalopods; 2) deployment of three satellite tracked drifters and a series of three CTD tracks to measure current flow, water temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll; and 3) flying bridge observations of marine mammals and birds when the ship is underway between CTD stations. The formation of eddies characteristic of the sampling area will be monitored through altimeter readings every third day. If a persistent eddy is defined, the final series of trawls and CTDs may be reduced in favor of sampling within the eddy region (Fig. 1).


1.1. Chief Scientist:
 Beth Sinclair  F  NOAA/NMML

The Chief Scientist has the authority to revise or alter the technical portion of the instructions as work progresses provided that, after consultation with the Commanding Officer, it is ascertained that the proposed changes will not: (1) jeopardize the safety of personnel or the ship; (2) exceed the overall time allotted for the project; (3) result in undue additional expenses; (4) alter the general intent of these project instructions.

1.2 Participating Scientists:

 Name   Sex  Affiliation
 Dennis Benjamin  M  NOAA/RACE
 Kurt Zegowitz  M  NOAA/PMEL
 Carolyn Kurle  F  NOAA/NMML
Tonya Zeppelin F NOAA/NMML
 Nathan Pamplin  M  OSU
 William G. Pearcy  M  OSU
 Carol DeWitt  F  NOAA/PMEL
 Beth Sinclair  F  NOAA/NMML
 Jim Thomason  M  NOAA/NMML
 Trissa Rauen  F  Teacher at Sea

1.3 NOAA Pacific Marine Center Operations Contac

Larry Mordock
1801 Fairview Ave. East
Seattle, WA 98102-3767
(206) 553 - 4764


1.4 Program Contacts:

 Dr. Phyllis Stabeno 
7600 Sand Point Way NE 
Seattle, WA 98115 
(206) 526-6453
 Dr. Art Kendall 
7600 Sand Point Way NE 
Seattle, WA 98115 
(206) 526-4108 



Scheduling of individual activities will depend upon weather conditions and progress of scientific work, therefore, firm advance scheduling of events will not be possible, and a continual dialogue between scientific and ship's personnel will be especially important. To insure fulfillment of all the scientific objectives, the ship is asked to steam at a consistent cruising speed between sampling stations.


A). Examine distribution and relative biomass of the midwater prey community in areas of historically low and high bycatch.

The midwater zone will be sampled with an Aleutian Wing Midwater Trawl into which a 2" codend liner has been inserted prior to ship departure from Dutch Harbor. Trawls will be conducted as a diel series at three depths (0-250m; -500m; -1000m) in three locations adjacent to CTD tracks (Fig.1). Trawls at 0-250m will be conducted obliquely to depth (250m), with one to two hours trawl time at depth and a vessel speed of 3kts. The two deeper trawl series will be conducted at depth (500m and 1000m) for one to two hours at 3kts with increased vessel speed during net deployment and retrieval to reduce bycatch from shallower depths. The cruise leader will work closely with the fishing officer to determine vessel speeds that maximize the efficiency of the net. Trawl locations may be adjusted somewhat during the cruise in order to take advantage of changing conditions such as eddy formation, density of sign, or observed marine mammal densities. Otherwise, two to three days will be spent at each of the three trawl stations allowing for a minimum of four trawls (two daylight, two nighttime) at each depth or a total of 12 trawls on station.

B) Examine distribution and feeding activity of seabird and marine mammal predators in areas of historically low and high marine mammal densities.

Marine mammal and bird surveys will be conducted during daylight hours when the vessel is underway (during midwater trawl operations and between CTD stations). Observations will be conducted by two observers from the flying bridge.

C). Examine the physical mechanisms influencing the distribution of the midwater nekton community and their predators.

CTD readings will be collected along three transect lines to 1500m (or to the bottom), and at the end of each series of trawls (Fig. 1, Table 1). Flourometer readings will be taken along the same tracklines as CTDs, but will be removed for casts deeper than 500m. One satellite-tracked drifter will be dropped at the start of trawling on the first day of the cruise. The second drifter will be dropped in the vicinity of the eddy, and the remaining drifter will be dropped in the vicinity of trawl stations at the end of the third series of CTDs. If no persistent eddy is defined then both of the latter two drifters will be dropped at the end of the third series of CTDs (Table 1, Fig. 1).

A standard oceanographic watch will be utilized which consists of a winch operator, a scientific staff of three and a survey tech on deck. Operations will be conducted 24 hours a day. A fishing crew will be required to assist with the midwater trawls, which will be conducted in daytime and nighttime. A survey tech and winch operator will be needed for CTD operations. Final sampling stations and times may vary slightly based on daily observation records of marine mammal and bird densities and eddy formation, and ultimately will be determined by the Chief Scientist and ship personnel. In the event of a reduction of shiptime, the extended CTD tracklines will be dropped, and the depth and number of trawls may be modified.



The following are operations to be conducted on this cruise. The procedures for these operations are listed in the FOCI Standard Operating Instructions (SOI). Operations not addressed in the SOI and changes to standard procedures are addressed below.
CTD/Water samples (SOI 2.2.1)
Midwater trawl (SOI 2.2.8)
Satellite tracked drifter buoy (SOI 2.2.11)
ADCP (SOI 2.2.13)
EK500 monitoring (SOI 2.2.12)
Seachest and Uncontaminated Seawater (SOI 3.4)




The following systems and their associated support services are essential to the cruise. Sufficient consumables, back-up units, and on-site spares and technical support must be in place to assure that operational interruptions are minimal. All measurement instruments are expected to have current calibrations, and all pertinent calibration information shall be included in the data package.


3.1 Equipment and Capabilities to be Provided by the Ship

Oceanographic winch with slip rings and 3-conductor cable terminated for CTD,

Wire-angle indicator and readout for oceanographic winch,

Oceanographic winch for bongo net (and other nets when used) with slip rings and 3-conductor cable terminated for the SeaCat,

Sea-Bird 911 plus CTD system to be used with PMEL stand (primary system)
(The underwater CTD unit should have mounts compatible with the PMEL CTD stand),

Sea-Bird 911 plus CTD system with stand (back up system),

Sea-Bird SBE-19 SeaCat system (primary system)

(Each CTD system should include underwater CTD, weights, and pinger and there should be one deck unit and tape recorder for the two systems),
10-liter sampling bottles for use with rosette (10 plus 4 spares),

For CTD field corrections: IAPSO water and AUTOSAL salinometer,

Wire speed indicators and readout for quarterdeck, Rowe and Marco winches,

For meteorological observations: 2 anemometers (one R. M. Young system interfaced to the SCS), calibrated air thermometer (wet-and dry-bulb) and a calibrated barometer and/or barograph,

Freezer space for storage of biological and chemical samples (blast and storage freezers),

Simrad EQ-50 echo sounder,

JRC JFV-200R color sounder recorder,

RDI ADCP written to SCS and Iomega Zip drives,

Bench space in DataPlot for PCS, monitor, printer and VCR to fly MOCNESS,

Use of Pentium PC in DataPlot for data analysis,

SCS (Shipboard Computer System),

Aft Rowe winch,

Electrical connection between Rowe winch and DataPlot,

Laboratory space with exhaust hood, sink, lab tables and storage space,

Sea-water hoses and nozzles to wash nets (quarterdeck and aft deck),

Adequate deck lighting for night-time operations,

Navigational equipment including GPS and radar,

Safety harnesses for working on quarterdeck and fantail,

NOTE: Stern platform should be removed and stored prior to departure.

3.2 Equipment to be Provided by the Project

PMEL PC with SeaCat and SEASOFT software for CTD data collection and processing,

Fluorometer to be mounted on CTD,

CTD stand modified for attachment of fluorometer,

Conductivity and temperature sensor package to provide dual sensors on the primary CT, and one for the backup system,

CTD rosette sampler,

60-cm bongo sampling arrays,

20-cm bongo arrays,

WestMar (third wire),

Two MBTs (bathythermographs),

Two Aleutian Wing Midwater Trawls (AWT),

Two AWT codend liners (2" stretch)

Fishbuster doors (2750 lbs)

Argos tracked drifter buoys with optical sensors,

EK500 monitoring system,

Miscellaneous scientific sampling and processing equipment,

Sorting tables and baskets for processing trawl catches,

Discrete Sample DataBase forms,


3.3. Ship's Computer System (SCS)

The ship's Scientific Computer System (SCS) shall operate throughout the cruise, acquiring and logging data from navigation, meteorological, oceanographic, and fisheries sensors. See FOCI Standard Operating Instructions for specific requirements. The ship uses the NT version of SCS. The VAX is only available for data processing. An upgraded version of the NT SCS software will be installed on the transit to Ketchikan in April. Contact CST Wm. Floering for further information.



Data disposition, responsibilities and data requirements are listed in the FOCI Standard Operating Instructions.



5.3 Piggyback projects:

None at this time.


6.5. Hazardous Materials:

The Chief Scientist shall be responsible for complying with NC Instruction 6280A, Hazardous Waste; policy, guidance, and training, dated February 4, 1991, paragraph 7.g and paragraph 9. By federal law, the ship may not sail without a complete inventory of MSDS, and appropriate neutralizing agents, buffers, and/or absorbents in amounts adequate to address spills of a size equal to the amount aboard.

The following hazardous materials will be provided and controlled by the scientists with the Chief Scientist assuming responsibility for the safe handling of such substances:

Hazardous Materials:
Buffered Formalin
Isopropyl Alcohol

Additions to FOCI/AFSC chemical manifest -- none



7.4 Important phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses:

PMEL/CARD Fax: (206) 526-6485
PMEL/ADMIN Fax: (206) 526-6815
AFSC/RACE Fax: (206) 526-6723

MILLER FREEMAN COMSAT (government account numbers): These are much cheaper than INMARSAT direct numbers and should always be used first.

800-678-0872, after voice prompt dial 330-394-113, after tone dial customer ID# (Voice) 800-678-0872, after voice prompt dial 330-394-114, after tone dial customer ID# (Fax)
PI's should establish their ID#'s with their program.

INMARSAT (direct numbers)
INMARSAT B voice: 011-872-330-394-113
INMARSAT B fax: 011-872-330-394-114
INMARSAT M voice:011-872-761-267-346 (or 347)
INMARSAT M fax: 011-872-761-267-348

CELLULAR: 206-660-7167
KODIAK ROAMER: 907-528-7626

(First dial the roamer, wait for dial tone, and then dial cellular number.)




Figure 1.-- Tracklines and sample locations for CTD stations (* or Î). Marine mammal/bird observations will be conducted at cruising speed in tracklines between CTD stations. Midwater trawls will be conducted at three locations in the vicinity of CTD stations and at 0-250m; - 500m; and -1000m depths.

Table 1. -- CTD locations and transit time. Trawling effort will add a minimum of 6 additional days of activity to the CTD total time estimate of 2.36 days.





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