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2 May: Breaking up is hard to do (Scotia Arc Expedition 2013)

By: Dr Nerida Wilson, Category: Science, Date: 03 May 2013

After sampling at the eastern side of the Falklands/Malvinas, we went north and took some samples off the side of the continental shelf.

2 May: Breaking up is hard to do (Scotia Arc Expedition 2013) #1

Greg Rouse © Australian Museum

Using multibeam sonar to create a map of the bottom we discovered a really cool plateau at around 800m, which had a very steep cliff down into a deep basin at 1000m. The most common animal here was coral, a kind that looked a little bit like finger bones when it was broken up.

So we nicknamed the site, “The Boneyard”. Once we finished work there, we moved back down to the Falklands/Malvinas, but this time on the western side. Now we are heading down to examine the south, and will complete a circumnavigation of the islands.

One of our main problems now is to make sure that Chicken (the Sheathbill bird) that has become so fond of our ship will leave us soon. Chicken joined us when we approached the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, and we hope that he will stay when we leave the area.

He has discovered that he can pick small organisms out of the trawl net when it comes up, and has been ‘helping’ us to clean it ever since. Another reminder about how bird-fishing interactions are not usually good for the birds was seen in this photograph of an albatross with fishing line dangling from its mouth.

And guess what? We saw another green flash last night!