Friday, May 21, 2010

In the field

Today, I am out with some of the staff doing shrimp sampling in the harbor. We monitor the number of white, brown, and pink shrimp in order to manage the species.

This will be my last "official" trip. I've had some good times on this project over the years. Luckily, I can come back to just volunteer when I would like to go back out sampling again.

So here's some of what we do;

The trawl net is put over and wire is let out to set it on the bottom.

Here the winch is bringing the gear back in after a 15 minute tow.

The trawl net is coming up and ready to come on deck.

The contents of the net is placed in a basket. The shrimp and crabs are sorted out, measured, and their reproductive state noted.

Data are recorded on forms and then taken back to be entered electronically for later analysis.

There was a fairly good sample of white shrimp, most of which were females ready to spawn.

The semi-transparent exoskeleton makes it possible to determine how advanced in development the ovaries are.

Data collected today will go into a database from which I compare today's findings with the ten year average. Shrimp numbers are lower than usual due to the winter freeze in January. I'm hoping that the oil floating in huge sausage like mats won't make it along the East coast. It could really destroy the fishery.

But I don't see anything that's amiss today. It's such a beautiful day today. Some light breeze and plenty of sunshine. After I get off this boat I'll get on my own to go out sailing and spend the weekend on her.

Happy Friday to all.


  1. Your job has been such a good match to your interests and way of life hasn't it? The fact that you are going to be able to volunteer sometimes will be a bonus for you in the years ahead. I find the photos so interesting and it is good to know the shrimp and crab are alive and well and reproducing.

  2. thats pretty cool work you do...when i heard sampling i though something else...if you ever need that kinda help let me know. smiles. enjoy sailing....

  3. Gorgeous! I love the sunshine and water. Better than antidepressants!

  4. great pics! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into the cool job you have!

  5. Thanks for sharing a part of your work activity; I've found it most interesting to see and think about as I go about my day. It seems to me that you have a vast store of experience to share in many aspects of life for a very long time. Live long and Prosper.... And a happy Friday, as well.

  6. Have you ever read any of Jack Rudloe's books?

  7. Thanks for sharing. That was so neat have a peek into your world. Have an awesome, enjoyable weekend!

  8. Oh it does look so beautiful....I hope that oil doesn't come any closer too. Devestating.
    Thanks for sharing, really interesting work.

  9. Looks great. Concerned here also about the consequences of the oil spill.



  10. What a great post,Syd.
    I love that you share your work with us,even if it volunteer!! I hope you have a safe and pleasurable time on your own little boating trip :)

  11. Syd,

    I think you would be able to relate to what I am saying. Every payday I try to be very quiet. I don't want anyone to notice.


    No matter what we struggle with outside of work in our personal world, the ability to go to a job that not only is financially enriching but allows us the ability to meet our own psycholocigcal needs is a reward in itself.

    I can help but believe if more people had that opportunity there would be a lot less alcoholism and addiction.

  12. It's very interesting seeing you do your scientist thing, counting and writing it down. I'm sure all of the numbers add up to making this world a better place. Thank you for your passion. I'm grateful.

  13. Not many people can go back and volunteer at their old jobs! How cool is that? Thanks for the lesson in shrimp management :)

  14. I have to show this to my husband. He thought about Marine biology as a career but went in another direction. That looks like the fun part of the job!

  15. Syd, I too first-thought that sampling meant sampling by the tummy.

    What an interesting life/career you have been granted--and chose?

    Always a pleasure to read you, Sir.

  16. If I was there I would come running with a little skillet, some chopped shallots and garlic and turn your pink and brown scientific shrimp into lunch!

    Have a great weekend.

  17. Hi Syd,
    I know that your blog is about Al-Anon, but I was wondering when and if you were going to measure in on the BP oil fiasco and the long term effects it may have for everyone.

  18. This was fascinating. Thank you for sharing your work and your world with us. I also hope the oil doesn't make it around to the east.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.