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September 25, 2012

by Megan Chesser

Deepwater Canyons

Late night September 20th – early morning September 21st:

As the sun goes down, the night crew readies themselves for an entirely different set of activities. On the docket for tonight are three 30-minute otter trawls (our net is 16 feet wide) at a depth of 600 meters. The replicate trawls at each depth and general location help to document the potential variability in any given area. Trawling at night brings whole new challenges to navigating the ship. Out here over the deepwater canyons, fishermen often set up floating longlines  in hopes of catching pelagic species like swordfish, or bottom-dwelling fish like cod or monkfish. Though regional councils (established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 ) and federal agencies (NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service) regulate that these longlines must be equipped with radar reflectors on the endpoints, these can be…

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