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York River Science Cruises in May

Did you miss out on the Fishes Near and Far Science Cruise? Well don’t miss out on the trio of science cruises we have coming up this May.

On May 1 — Underwater Vehicle Sail

Join us on our exciting Underwater Vehicle Sail where we explore what’s hiding in the York River with a remote operated vehicle.

What could be under there, you may ask? Well shipwrecks of course! It’s known that possibly nine shipwrecks are on the bottom of the York River, as it served as major battleground during the Revolutionary War. With researcher Rochelle Seitz from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science coming aboard, we’ll explore the bottom of the York River using a remote operated vehicle to look for shipwrecks. The ROV will have a camera attached, and with a screen on deck, we’ll be able to see what’s down there from the majestic Alliance.

The presentation will also explain how these remotely operated vehicles are used beyond just looking for shipwrecks, but for environmental monitoring. Last year we searched for the wreck of Betsy.

May 15th — “Ghost” Crab Pot Sail

On May 15th we’ll explore “Ghost” Crab Pots in the York River as marine researcher Kory Angstadt of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science comes aboard and shows how VIMS uses sonar to detect these lost ghost pots, which can continue to collect fish and crabs.

Over the last few years, VIMS with the help of local watermen have been locating and removing these ghost pots, which get removed from their fishing lines for whatever reasons, and sink to the bottom of the river. According to a survey by VIMS in 2006-2007, more than 600 ghost pots occupied the mouth of the York River, as posted on William & Mary’s website.

Angstadt will show how they locate the pots and what measures are being done so that when a pot does become derelict, it biodegrades so the fish or crab that’s captured can return to their habitat instead of staying trapped inside the pot.

May 29th Drifters and Jellies

Jelly FishThey are the oldest living multi-organ animal on earth, and one of the least complex organisms too, which is what makes Jellyfish one of the most interesting marine species to roam the seas. They have no brain, no nervous system, nor even a specialized digestive, circulatory or respiratory system, yet are able to survive. Oh, and as some of you might know, they have an incredibly powerful sting!

Professor Dr. Deb Steinberg of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science will help us reel some jellies in and discuss some facts about the different jellies and drifters, which are quite frequent in the Chesapeake Bay area, and their importance in marine ecology and food webs.

So if you missed out on our Fishes Far and Near cruise, don’t miss out on one of our scientific sails slated in May. You can purchase tickets online for our special science cruises here.

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