exploring / outside / work

Seeds of the sea!

This past Monday, while wandering through the sleek technological hub that is the San Jose airport at 6 am, I looked down and realized that I stood out. While those around me donned the blazers and pumps synonymous with important business meetings, I realized that, while also dressed for work, I was wearing oversized rubber fishing boots and a flannel shirt my dad bought before I was born. To each work place,their own. The man at the ticket booth raised an eyebrow at the sleeping bag in my hands, and said “it looks like you are off to have some fun”, and I suppose I am! I am currently perched atop the wheelhouse of a 122 foot Canadian fishing vessel off the Olympic peninsula of Washington. While the goal of the cruise is to monitor juvenile salmon, my particular role involves plying the seas with a fine mesh net and sorting and identifying the larval fish and invertebrates that make the whole ecosystem function (and feed salmon of course). Many are surprised to learn that familiar fish undergo a pelagic larval stage, during which time tiny little fish float in the open ocean, in strange, oft unidentifiable versions of their future selves. These little critters represent the hope for the next generation, and although they have a lot of odds stacked against them, just like the seeds we plant in the garden, these miniature larval fish and invertebrates may one day provide food for the future!! Can’t wait to check out the garden when I get home tomorrow tho 🙂 

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