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Date: 22 September, 1999



Cruise No.: MF-99-11

FOCI No.: 7MF99



This report, with the Final Cruise Instructions dated 30 July 1999, present complete information for this cruise.



Southeast Bering Sea



Depart September 2 — Dutch Harbor

TNG September 5 — Dutch Harbor

Arrive September 19 — Dutch Harbor


Participating organizations:

AFSC - Alaska Fisheries Science Center (NOAA)

PMEL — Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (NOAA)

UAF — University of Alaska, Fairbanks

UCI — University of California, Irvine

UW — University of Washington


Cruise description:

Fisheries Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (FOCI) is an effort by academic and federal scientists to understand ecosystems and biological and physical processes that cause recruitment variability of commercially valuable fish and shellfish stocks in Alaskan waters. FOCI is comprised of Shelikof Strait FOCI and Southeast Bering Sea Carrying Capacity (SEBSCC). Current research is focused on the western Gulf of Alaska and the southeastern Bering Sea to examine biotic and abiotic environmental effects on the ecosystem and the early life stages of walleye pollock. FOCI uses four scientific approaches: environmental monitoring, process studies, retrospective analyses, and modeling. Research cruises address the first two approaches.


Cruise objectives:

1) Continue acquisition of long-term biological and physical time series.

2) Conduct acoustic and trawl survey of juvenile walleye pollock for examining distributions in relation to hydrographic fronts.

3) Compare multiple frequency acoustic systems and their use in examining zooplankton and juvenile pollock spatial patterns.

4) Collect samples of juvenile pollock for studies of growth, feeding, pathology, and condition.

5) Examine distribution and nutrition of pollock prey in relation to hydrographic fronts and vertical distribution of juvenile pollock.

6) Examine distribution and feeding of seabird and marine mammal predators in the vicinity of the Pribilof Islands.




1.1. Chief Scientist

 Matthew T. Wilson  M/USA  AFSC
 (206) 526-6522 [voice]  (206) 526-6723 [FAX]    


1.2. Participating Scientists

September 2-19:

 Jay Clark  M/USA  AFSC
 Jeff Napp  M/USA  AFSC
 Loren Tuttle  M/USA  AFSC
 Sigrid Salo  F/USA  PMEL

September 5-19:

 Ken Coyle  M/USA  UAF
 Frank Morado  M/USA  AFSC
 Mary Ngo  F/USA  UCI
 Gordie Swartzman  M/USA  UW
 Lucy Vlietstra  F/USA  UCI


1.3 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 



2.1. Summary of Activities

The NOAA ship Miller Freeman departed Dutch Harbor, 2 September (22:00 ADT). During 2-5 September, sampling was conducted at the 21 southernmost stations on the Monitoring Transects (Figure 1). On 5 September, the ship returned to Dutch Harbor to pick up five scientists (see Section 1.2) and Dr. Ken Coyle’s HTI multi-frequency acoustic system. Within one hour of arrival, the ship departed for the Habitat Transects with all personnel and gear aboard. The Habitat Transects were occupied during 5-17 September. Afterwards, the remaining Monitoring stations were occupied and the cruise ended on 19 September in Dutch Harbor. A chronological list of all samples collected and a sample tally are given in Tables 1 and 2, respectively.

All operations were successful except that the CHLAM sensor on the CTD rosette was damaged. Until it was removed, the CHLAM may have ruined the PAR and fluorometer data. Attempts to repair the CHLAM were unsuccessful.


1) Monitoring Transects:

Sampling at stations along the Monitoring Transects extended the time series of available plankton (20/60 cm Bongo), and CTD data across the shelf and along the 70-m isobath (Table 1 and Figure 1). Water collected in bottles on the CTD rosette were used to obtain nutrient and chlorophyll samples at predetermined depths. Sampling was intensified around three moorings situated along these transects for comparison with data collected by moored instruments (Figure 1). The CalVET and Methot nets were also used to collect samples near the moorings. A coccolithophore bloom was evident along much of these transects and was particularly strong at the easternmost stations.


2) Habitat Transects:

Sampling commenced with Line D and progressed to Line A (Table 1 and Figure 1). Extremely high catches of jellyfish in both the anchovy and Methot nets at two inshore stations on Line A forced cancellation of the 48-hr diel sampling scheduled for the inshore station. Instead, the time was used to visit Line B and C, and to revisit Line D.

The initial visit to Line D started with a CTD cast at each of the seven "D" stations. Water collected in bottles on the CTD rosette were used to obtain nutrient and chlorophyll samples at predetermined depths. Based on temperature profiles, the inner (well mixed), middle (partially mixed), and outer (stratified) stations selected for net sampling were "D2", "D4", and "D6", respectively. In total, 26 hauls were made with the anchovy (n=10), Methot (n=7), and MOCNESS (n=9) nets. However, eight of these samples (anchovy, n=6; MOCNESS, n=2) were collected during the revisit to this Line, which was hampered by bad weather. All acoustic passes were conducted during the initial visit. The HTI acoustic system was used to make two daytime passes and one nighttime pass. The EK-500 was used to make one pass each at day, night, and dusk. Bird observations were made during each of the daytime acoustic transects.

On Line A, a CTD cast was conducted at each of the nine "A" stations. Water collected in bottles on the CTD rosette were used to obtain nutrient and chlorophyll samples at predetermined depths. Based on temperature profiles, the inner (well mixed) and outer (stratified) stations selected for net sampling were "A2" and "A8", respectively. The middle (partially mixed) station was chosen midway between "A3" and "A4" and is referred to as "A3.5". A tenth CTD cast was done subsequently at this station. Net sampling at the outer and middle stations occurred over a 48-hr period. At the outer station, 24 hauls were made with the anchovy (n=6), Methot (n=8), and MOCNESS (n=10) nets. At the middle station, 25 hauls were made with the anchovy (n=6), Methot (n=10), and MOCNESS (n=9) nets. At the inner station (A8), two hauls with the anchovy net resulted in huge catches of jellyfish estimated to weigh about 1 ton. The net burst on the second tow despite the fact that the net was not allowed to remain at depth. Age-0 pollock samples were collected from this second tow but it is not useful for quantitative purposes. We moved to "A7", another inshore station, but the Methot net caught large numbers of jellyfish at this station also. Diel sampling of the inshore environment on Line A was therefore cancelled. By that time, each acoustic system had been used to make one nighttime pass. Each had also been used to make two daytime passes during which bird observations were made. Also, a small boat was launched at the middle station and birds were collected for purposes of a diet study. The only additional sampling needed was a repeat of the CTD casts and two more nighttime acoustic passes. However, since the cancellation occurred early in the day and freed up 48 hours, we chose to leave the final sampling of Line A until later and proceed to Lines B and C.

On Line B and C, a CTD cast was conducted at each station historically visited. Nutrient and chlorophyll samples were not collected during these CTD casts. Instead of trying to sample with nets in each habitat, Methot tows were used to supplement a study of diel sampling effects on catch composition. Methot samples were collected only on Line B (n=8). The purpose of the MOCNESS tows was to provide supplemental data for discriminating echolayers collected with the HTI and EK-500 systems. MOCNESS samples were collected on Line B (n=3) and on Line C (n=4). On each Line, one daytime pass was made with each acoustic system. The HTI pass on Line C was conducted enroute to Line A after briefly revisiting Line D, as mentioned previously. As with all other daytime passes, bird observations were concurrent with acoustic collections.

Performance by all hands aboard the Miller Freeman was exemplary. Despite being short-handed in every department, none of the initial objectives were compromised. Thanks goes to the officers who put in extra time in order to conduct the trawl sampling, the deck crew who quickly mended the anchovy trawl after it burst from the large jellyfish catch, Phil Porter who willingly tried to fix the CHLAM, the Survey Technicians who were helpful as always, the galley crew for keeping us well fed, and last but certainly not least, the engineers for keeping everything running smoothly! Another big thanks to everyone for willingly adjusting to the many changes that occurred in the sampling schedule, and for the astonishingly quick touch-and-goes.


2.2. Tables and Figures

Table 1. Station location and operation during the cruise MF99-11 (FOCI 7MF99).

Table 2. Tally of samples collected during the cruise MF99-11 (FOCI 7MF99).

Figure 1. Stations on the Monitoring (Cross-shelf and 70-m isobath) and Habitat (Line A, B, C, D) Transects occupied during the cruise MF99-11 (FOCI 7MF99).

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Seattle, WA 98115
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