Long Island Collecting Log: Let’s hear it for the natives

Todd GardnerBy Todd Gardner 5 years ago1 Comment

It’s late October. As autumn progresses, it gets increasingly difficult to put on my gear and get in the water. Between the head-numbing cold and the departure of the tropicals, the idea of diving in New York becomes less appealing with each passing day.  Sometimes I need to stop and remind myself that the tropical strays aren’t the only interesting things to look at in our waters. Here’s a video clip of a few of our local stars. Spider crabs ambling across the bottom; cunners swimming over beds of young blue mussels; a large summer flounder, likely preparing to head out into the deeper waters of the continental shelf, where it will find a little relief from the bitterly cold New York winter. As I lock eyes with this beautiful flatfish, I imagine its bulky fillets, thinly-sliced on a platter of sashimi. I look at my collecting net. Would it hold him? I decide to settle for the video and save the space in my bag for something smaller (which I don’t find). A gathering of black seabass looks on as if they are waiting for something to happen. I’m cold and I’m going home empty-handed, but I’m underwater, so it’s a great day.

Shinnecock Bay. Fluke and friends.

Spider crabs, cunners, fluke, and seabass in Shinnecock Inlet, Southampton, NY.

Categories:
  Eye Candy, Fish, Science
Todd Gardner
About

 Todd Gardner

  (71 articles)

Todd Gardner is a professor of marine biology at Suffolk County Community College in Riverhead, NY. His life and his career have both been shaped by his passion for marine life and he has written numerous scientific and popular articles about his research and experiences collecting, keeping, and culturing marine organisms. Todd’s professional background includes work on a National Geographic documentary, commercial aquaculture at C-quest Hatchery in Puerto Rico, and an 11-year term at the Long Island Aquarium where he spent much of his time developing techniques for rearing marine fish larvae. To date he has raised more than 50 species. In 2013 Todd received the prestigious Aquarist of the Year Award from the Marine Aquarium Society of North America (MASNA). In his spare time, Todd dives, photographs marine life, runs marathons, and plays in a blues band.

One Comment

  • Avatar Allen Gold says:

    Loss of grass beds at Oak beach!
    Does anyone have any Ideas? I have been seining for tropical there for years, but in early spring I noticed the grass was turning black and dying. As of late August it was all gone. Very distressing.

  • Avatar Allen Gold says:

    Loss of grass beds at Oak beach!
    Does anyone have any Ideas? I have been seining for tropical there for years, but in early spring I noticed the grass was turning black and dying. As of late August it was all gone. Very distressing.

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