Science for Everyone

Fall 2019 Research Team Update – By the Numbers!

Written by Jessie Batchelder, Aquaculture Manager

I think the entire Hurricane Island staff would agree with the statement, “it’s been a crazy summer on the island”. Crazy busy, crazy productive, crazy stressful, but also crazy fun. It’s been an awesome ride, and as the crisp dry air blowing through my window this morning and whitecaps dancing across the sound reminded me, fall is here. While the season is far from over and there’s plenty more work to do, it’s a nice moment to look back on the summer and highlight a few things that the research team has accomplished. 

Spat bags that were built with the help of a Bowdoin College Class of 2023 orientation group

Spat bags that were built with the help of a Bowdoin College Class of 2023 orientation group

7128: scallops that are currently being grown in bottom cages and lantern nets out at our newly approved 3.2 acre lease site off of Gibbons point. 

22: spat bags that were sorted through, largely with the help of students! You can read more about our spat bags and baby scallops in Madison’s blog.

3142: baby scallops that were collected from the spat bags! In the next few weeks these baby scallops will be transferred out to the farm where they will continue to grow over the winter.

156: spat bags built with a Bowdoin College orientation group which will be deployed later this month around Hurricane Island to collect scallop spat for next year.

Snorkeling with a sunfish

Snorkeling with a sunfish

1: new research boat that provides a better work space, can haul lots of gear out to the farm, and goes fast! 

400: milliliters of 6 mm oyster seed that we are now growing in addition to our scallops and kelp.

180: scallops that have been dissected this summer as part of our work with gonadosomatic indices (GSI’s). GSI’s are a calculation of gonad mass as a proportion of the total body mass. As scallops become ready to spawn, the GSI increases. Since the beginning of July, we’ve dissected 20 scallops each week to see how the GSI’s have changed as we near scallop spawning season. You can read more about scallop GSI’s here or here.

How much gear do 4 divers need?

How much gear do 4 divers need?

3757.81: grams of scallop gonads that were weighed this summer for our GSI work. And still more to come!

13: phytoplankton samples that Madison and Hallie analyzed as part of the Department of Marine Resources phytoplankton monitoring program. This program identifies toxic phytoplankton species to help inform the closures of shellfish harvesting areas.

1: spontaneous snorkel with a sunfish in between dives. What else would you do when you’re on your surface interval and see a sunfish swim by? 

3: lost moorings found by our dive team in the mooring field. 

Our amazing 2019 Research Team!

Our amazing 2019 Research Team!

10: scallop dive transects completed, 6 still to go! Read more about our scallop dive transects in Flora’s blog.  

29.5: cumulative hours that our dive team spent underwater this summer.

5: incredible hard working women on the research team! In the 3 seasons I’ve worked for Hurricane the research team has always been an all women team, but this is the biggest team we’ve had ever had and it shows in all the work we accomplished this summer!

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