We have just about finished with sampling at one of our four key study sites, which range from muddy to having sandy mud, muddy sand, and sand. Each of these can have differences in their ecology and biogeochemistry. With the muddy site essentially complete, we have just moved onto our sandy site. Just like a visit to the beach, sand seashells are getting 'spread around'.
|Spotting the shark|
And one night, we even managed to spot a shark right next to the ship. It seems that he was also spotting us by the looks of it.
One of the things we have been doing that is generating lots of enthusiasm is short bottom net trawls to get some samples of the animals on the seafloor for identification and other research. At the muddy site, these animals have been dominated by a small shrimp called Nephrops (a.k.a. the Norway Lobster, or Dublin Bay Prawn). There is an active fishery for these and we expect to take some live specimens back to the lab to investigate how sediments with and without these species present can change sediment mixing.
|A sample of the animals on the sea floor|