Archive for June, 2012

Pedder Bay water has turned to chocolate (& jelly)!

June 21, 2012

For the past several days the water in Pedder Bay has been the colour of milk chocolate:

The visibility is very poor as seen in the photos above and below.

Brown, brown water!

In the photos below, the jar on the left contains tap water while the jar on the right contains water collected off the Pearson College docks at 12:30 pm today by filling the jar from the surface water.

The brown colour of the water is actually not chocolate, but is in fact due to an abundance of  an as yet unidentified plankton species. Below are photos taken through a compound microscope:

Amongst the many, many little ciliates that were zipping around the field of view, there were a few Parafavella sp. (the little champagne glasses), a dinoflagellate species (Peridinium perhaps?) and the occasional rotifer (one even had eggs).  The sample was clearly dominated by the brown coloured ciliate, however.  If you have any idea about the species (based on these terrible photos or from experience with the ciliates of Pedder Bay), please help with the identification!!

In addition to the microscopic organisms, there has been an abundance of small (1-1.5 cm) Polyorchis penicillatus jellies around the Pearson College docks.

Sorry about the terrible quality of the photos!  For more information on Polyorchis penicillatus (and a much better photo!) see the page from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Beached humpback whale in White Rock, BC

June 12, 2012

Ariana (PC 38, BC) went to a sandy beach in White Rock (south of Vancouver) where a humpback whale was beached today.  She sent the photos below and the information that Vancouver Aquarium staff have suggested that the whale was entangled in fishing gear and likely starved to death. A very sad story.

CBC news story “Whale beaches and dies south of Vancouver”

World Oceans Day 2012

June 8, 2012

Every day should be a day to celebrate and appreciate the ocean, but the 8th of June has officially been designated as World Oceans Day. Sadly, there are no Pearson marine scientists here to celebrate today, so I have posted a few photos from this afternoon at Weir’s Beach.

Great Blue Heron

Laura & Simon collected and observed a few purple shore crabs.

Simon found a young bull kelp in the drift algae.

And we spotted two clusters of fish eggs in the holdfast of a bull kelp.

We investigated the piles of seaweed on the beach.

Tucker plowed through the still suspended drift seaweed.

And finally here are a few links for further information about World Oceans Day: