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Webinar: Autonomous and fabulous: The U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources Program's transition to using underwater gliders for fisheries surveys
Wednesday, 04 November 2020, 12:00
Wednesday, November 4, 2020. 12:00 PM. Webinar: Autonomous and fabulous: The U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources Program's transition to using underwater gliders for fisheries surveys. Jen Walsh, Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Sponsored by NOAA's National Ocean Service Science Seminar Series. More information here.
In December 2018, the U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) Program at NOAA Fisheries transitioned to an at-sea program of glider-based fisheries surveys as a replacement for our traditional vessel-based surveys. During the past two Antarctic summers (December through March), we deployed five deep-diving (1000m), long-range underwater gliders - two in 2018/19 and three in 2019/20. Our deployments occurred around the northern Antarctic Peninsula, and our objective was to obtain biomass estimates of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), the target of the largest fishery in the Southern Ocean, in areas that are important for the fishery and foraging penguins and seals. We continue to process data from 2019/20; however, glider-based biomass estimates from 2018/19 were comparable to previous estimates from the AMLR Program's 25-year, ship-based time series. In under a year, we demonstrated that glider-based fisheries surveys are a promising alternative to vessel-based surveys, and can provide the data needed to manage regional fisheries. We also demonstrated that the transition from ships to gliders can happen quickly, but the learning curve is steep. This presentation is from the perspective of a brand-new glider pilot, plucked from her station at a chemistry lab fume hood and tossed into a world of oceanographic robots, with only 10 months to go from neophyte to dynamite.