The crew currently here in Bella Bella consists of the four of us:
- Dr. Margot Hessing-Lewis – Post Doc, SFU
- Britt Keeling – Master’s Student, SFU
- Ryan Cloutier – M.Sc., Dive Master Extraordinaire
- Yago Doson Col – Master’s Student, UBC
We make up the dive team that will be carrying out research at herring spawn locations here on the Central Coast.
What’s in store for this year?
This year we will be revisiting herring spawning sites in order to estimate how many herring eggs are lost through time to things like predation and wave action. This value is interesting for a number of reasons. Not only will it will give us a better idea of the importance of herring roe as a source of food for other species in the ecosystem, a value for egg loss can also be used directly in herring stock assessment models. One way that herring population numbers are estimated is by using dive surveys, where dive teams visit spawn locations and count the number of eggs present. This number is then used to estimate how many herring were there to spawn. However, because it takes time to visit several spawn sites, dive teams arrive at a herring spawn location several days to weeks after a spawn event. During this time lag, several eggs may be lost and won’t be counted. We hope to provide an egg loss value that can be used as a correction factor to account for eggs lost between when the spawn starts and when the dive team arrives.
But wait, there’s more!!
As mentioned in our last post, several other researchers will be joining us in coming weeks, all with exciting projects planned. Keep posted for more introductions and hopefully some guest blogging!