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August 12, 2016

Grab it all

BY: Cecilie Petersen



The weather the last few weeks has been rough, but that is to be expected in these Nordic seas. It has been a bit of a challenge for the ROV pilots, but for the “happy grabbers” it has been heaven. Every time the waves, or the current, have been too strong for the ROV to be deployed, or just for the fun of it, we made a grab. So, into the “Oompa Loompa” pants, water in the hose, and the meshes ready – washing grabs it is. We have done around 100 grabs, and have over 300 samples, which are either released, kept dry (for shells) or in alcohol (for live animals as worms, crabs, and brittle stars). I must admit, I like soft bottom sea floors – deep in my heart is a kid that really loves to play with mud and sand. And then there are all the animals associated with the different types of sediment, and I especially have a love for annelids (and yes, evil people have given me the nickname “worm-girl”). I have always been fascinated by how you can tell the state of the environment by finding one specific species – and in the Jutland Bank we have been very lucky to find, among other animals, amphioxi, or lancelets. These are representatives of “primitive” chordates, which as well can be used as indicators of coarse and clean sand – and luckily we have not yet found any of the “bad environment” species.

So, there is still some hope for the North Sea 🙂