Carkeek Park is one of my favorite Seattle beaches for a low-tide walk. There is wide variety of homes for sea critters. Rocks and boulders provide cover for sea stars, barnacles, cucumbers and a host of other creatures. The sandy areas lets us see siphons from gapers, clams, and geoduck. Carkeek also has large eel grass filled tide pools once the tide goes out. These tide pools and their eel grass forests provide a home and nursery for many species of fish and crabs. Us beach naturalists try to stay on the edges of the pools, careful not to trample through the grass. During this low-tide walk we spotted a couple for interesteresting fish species.
Day 6 - Aug 22: Shipping Day — Our first “non-collecting” day of the trip — today we send our first group of animals to Seattle. Since we were not going to a collecting site, we got to sleep in a little — although most of the group was up and moving before 6:30am anyway. Bryan and Alan took the fish that were collected last night (held in coolers in the van overnight) to the Waikiki Aquarium while the rest of us cleaned up the gear and gathered the supplies needed for packing and shipping the animals.
Ice toys are an important part of the Aquarium’s enrichment efforts, providing fun and development for the marine mammals in our exhibits. These enrichment efforts also provide us with the opportunity to educate our visitors and enhance their experience at the Aquarium.
Day 4 – Aug 20: The team returned to Hale’iwa on the north shore for another full day of collecting. The water conditions have been better here than anywhere else on the island so far and we have been finding some wonderful fish.
Every other year, biologists from the Seattle Aquarium go to Hawaii to collect new warm water animals for our exhibits. This blog post, is part one of a four-part blog series that will cover what it takes to put together a collection trip and highlight the biologists’ experiences.