Friday 25th June 2010

The weather has continued to dominate our programme.  Again we find ourselves at the mercy of wind and waves.  Too much of both, has meant us heading into the sea and unable to work.  This does not mean of course that we are idle.  There is plenty to do and from my point of view as the photographer I have many images I have to edit.  The advantage of being on board with specialists is that I am able to come away with pictures that have all the necessary identifications.  This saves me a lot of time.  It is not always a guarantee as even specialists change their mind, but we work together on this.  An area lacking in my knowledge has been the holothurians (sea cucumbers) but having Andrey Gebruk on board has made my life much easier.  I have also developed a new interest in that group too!   Previously they were one of my most difficult subjects in the benthic trawls as they always come up covered in sediment which is impossible to remove.  With the ROV we can selectively collect specimens in perfect condition.  Delivered to the 4.5 degrees of the cold room never out of water they become excellent subjects for my tanks where I can do them justice.

I have added a few examples of deep-sea holothurians (plus a specimen from last year as comparison) and maybe you can change your mind about what is beautiful from the deep sea!

Holothurian recovered from a trawl

Holothurian - Amperima

Holothurian - Deima validum, Polychaetes - Polynoids

Holothurian - Amperima sp

Holothurian - Peniagone

David Shale

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