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Prepping for Fieldwork: Satellite Tags, Cameras, and Bug Spray

*This post was originally uploaded on March 25th, 2019 on a website that has since been deleted. Posts from that website will be re-uploaded here at a later date.

The team has been gearing up for our next trip down to Costa Rica! We will be spending 5 days, 4 nights aboard a 42 ft. charter fishing boat leaving out of Marina Pez Vela. Prepping for a trip to "the field" consists of planning travel logistics, getting paperwork in order, and making sure we have all the gear and supplies we need prepped and packed.

This trip, we are hoping to put out a few more satellite tags on blue marlin, so a lot of our preparation deals with making sure our satellite tags are prepped and programed. Because our team spends a lot of their time working on computers, processing data, and writing up research in papers and reports, it can be refreshing to have some hands-on work to do prepping tags. To get the tags ready, we must make leaders, the pieces of monofilament and shrink wrap tubing that connect the tag to the fish. We also have to check all of the tags to make sure they are working properly, and then connect them to a computer to program what kind of data they collect while on the fish, and when to come off the fish.

We must also make sure we have copies of all our permits and licenses, data sheets printed out on waterproof paper, tools, a first aid kit, bug spray, and sunscreen, etc. For this trip we will have a satellite phone (there isn't cell service where we go offshore), a probe that can measure water temperature down to 300 ft. deep, and a standalone GPS unit. We will also take a couple of different cameras and GoPros so we can document the trip and share the things we see and do with the rest of our team and with our followers!

We are excited to announce that soon we will have a new tool to document our trip and to make observations of the fish communities we are studying in the field! We recently found out that we will be getting an OpenROV Trident through the S.E.E Initiative. We are excited about this new partnership, and our expanded capabilities to observe and document how fish communities are structured at the FADs (the offshore fast-food restaurants), and how the fast fish predators we are studying are interacting with each other at these hot spots. Let us know if you have any questions about getting ready for fieldwork in another country or let us know what is essential in your field work kit!

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