Zostera marina is a seagrass species, commonly known as eelgrass, that is found on both coasts of the United States, as well as in Europe. Unfortunately, Zostera is disappearing all over the place, including right here in New York. This could have devastating impacts on animals that rely on eelgrass as foraging grounds, or, as is the case with scallops, use it as a refuge from predation. This is its story, as seen through the eyes of an aspiring graduate student...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Status Update...

Well, no pictures this time! Last week we went out to measure my scallops again. If you don't remember, the last time I went out to my site to do the 2 week measurement, I lost ~30% of my scallops. My suspicions were they were dead or dying when I put them out - confirmed by the fact that their sizes were more or less exactly the same as they were when I initially measured them. The lack of any mortality this past time also supports the idea that they must have died bc of transport practices, something I will need to reconsider the next time I run this experiment. But I was very happy to see the survival as such, and to see the scallops growing well. This will run until the end of October, when I will also run a predation experiment again to see any differences between summer and fall, when the predator community is likely both different and more inactive. I also might be doing an overwintering experiment with my mats - more on that as I figure it out.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

One in Fifty-Million... So you are saying there is a chance!!!

That's right... The fairly rare "half-cooked" lobster... So I decided to pay a visit to a couple of friends of mine in Rhode Island, fellow alumni of the now defunct Southampton College of Long Island University.

One, Greg, in addition to having graduated from Southampton with a marine science degree and working towards a Master's from URI, still runs his lobster boat almost daily. His family owns and operated their own lobster company, Sakonnet Lobster Company in Little Compton, RI.

Last year, one of his brother's netted the one in 50 million half and half lobster, that was even featured in prominent news. It is rare, but not unheard of, as a year before, one was caught in Maine. Either way, it is still pretty exciting, and I was able to actually see it in person while I was looking around the shop.

It was a fun trip, going out on the lobster boat, being science nerds (talking about our research projects during a barbecue and Greg free-diving to the bottom to pick up "knobby-conchs"), and just relaxing. Rhode Island, and in particular Sakonnet Point, is a very nice, relatively upspoiled place with beautiful rocky coastline that I recommend everyone visit at least once.