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In August 2013 we set sail from Stromness on our second Sea Change expedition, aboard Lerwick community boat The Swan, with a crew of 27 artists, scientists and informers. More ›

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The expedition crew of 27 includes a wide range of scientific and creative folk.
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Pelagic Gannets

gannet

When the seas calmed and I was no longer confined to my sick bunk, it was wonderful to be on deck and to observe my new watery surroundings, I saw gannets flap and glide past the Swan and was amazed to see their large wingspan for the first time. They truly are a majestic bird!

 

Gannet

Length: 94 cm Wingspan: 172 cm Weight: M/F: 3 kg

 

 

Habitat: Pelagic, breeds on open islands and coastal cliffs
Diet: Fish (up to 30cm), usually plunging from heights of 10-40m
TitBit: Gannets dive for fish from a height 25m and may reach 100km/h when they plunge into the water; an extensive network of air-sacs between the muscles and skin cushions this impact.  

 

 

Gannet noun

  • A large seabird (genus Morus, family Sulidae) with mainly white plumage, known for catching fish by plunge-diving.
  • A person who is always hungry; therefore, one who will eat (almost) anything.

The gannet’s supposed capacity for eating large quantities of fish has led to “gannet” becoming a disapproving description of somebody who eats excessively – a glutton

ganets with fish

Gannet hunting prowess revealed here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7921854.stm

Pelagic adjective

  • Of, relating to, or living in open oceans or seas rather than waters adjacent to land or inland waters
  •  (chiefly of fish) inhabiting the upper layers of the open sea. Often contrasted with demersal.

 

 

Pelagic – Science Definition

Relating to or living in or on oceanic waters. The pelagic zone of the ocean begins at the low tide mark and includes the entire oceanic water column. The pelagic ecosystem is largely dependent on the phytoplankton  inhabiting the upper, sunlit regions, where most ocean organisms live. Biodiversity decreases sharply in the unlit zones where water pressure is high, temperatures are cold, and food sources scarce. Pelagic waters are divided, in descending order, into the epipelagic, mesopelagic, bathypelagic, abyssopelagic, and hadopelagic zones.

Pelagic Trawler

Pelagic trawling uses large nets made from strong, thin twine, which has the necessary strength and elasticity to handle the huge stresses involved in hauling large volumes of fish, especially in bad weather.

http://www.seafoodscotland.org/Catching-Methods/pelagic-trawling.html

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Author: Deirdre Nelson

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Joins the expedition for week 2 and 3 Deirdre Nelson is an artist working mainly in textiles. Her nomadic nature and interest in communities have allowed her to develop work for exhibiton and on residencies both in UK and Australia.
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Pelagic Gannets

gannet
When the seas calmed and I was no longer confined to my sick bunk, it was wonderful to be on deck and to observe my new watery surroundings, I saw gannets flap and glide past the Swan and was amazed to see their large wingspan for the first time. They truly are a majestic bird!... Read more ›

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