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29 January, 2002


When scientists get ready to leave their field stations, they clean up their experiments and laboratories. Maggie Amsler and Chris Petrie are two divers who were here at Palmer for several months. Maggie and Chris left Palmer Station yesterday on the LM Gould. It will take them about five days to cross the Drake Passage and sail through the Straits of Magellan to Punta Arenas, Chile.

Maggie and Chris had fish and starfish in some large tanks in the labs. The fish were collected by Jeff Gustafson and the starfish by Chris Petrie. Maggie and Chris fed a special diet to the fish (Notothenia coriiceps) and starfish (Odentaster). Now it was time to return the fish and starfish to the ocean!

So, a few days ago, Maggie and Chris had a clean-up party. We called it the "un-fishing and star-sprinkling" party. Several of us met in the aquarium room. We scooped up the fish with nets, put them into buckets, and took them to the ocean water near the pump house. The fish were gently poured back into the ocean. They disappeared immediately!

Then we went back for the starfish, which were in other tanks. We used our hands and nets to pick up the starfish. They also went into buckets of water, which we took to the pier by the Zodiacs. The starfish didn't disappear immediately, but later in the day they were gone. The party was over. Oh, yes, there was that detail about cleaning the empty tanks.

Unfishing #1: we net the fish from the tanks.

Unfishing #2: two Notothenia coriiceps on their way home!

Unfishing #3: Jeff Gustafson does some unfishing!

Unfishing #4: Laura Hamilton does more unfishing!

Unfishing #5: This female elephant seal was not interested in the party, though she was nearby!

Unfishing # 6: Sue Cowles, Jeff Gustafson, and Maggie Amsler get ready to sprinkle stars!

Unfishing #7: These starfish, Odentaster, are ready to go home!

Unfishing #8: Maggie Amsler sprinkles stars!

Unfishing #9: The end of the party! Chris Petrie cleans the starfish tank.

Unfishing #10: Maggie Amsler and Chris Petrie go home too!

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