Sand Lance Research Update

4 people on a bocked boat pose for a photo
The visiting UConn/WHOI team. Credit: NOAA/Michael Thompson

The science team at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary recently completed a research mission aboard the 55-foot trawler F/V Miss Emily based in Scituate, Massachusetts. The objective was to collect spawning sand lance. A total of 106 sand lance in spawning condition (53 male and 53 female) were captured through 16 beam trawl tows on the southwest corner. The team worked together aboard the vessel to manually strip-spawn the fish while heading back to port. The fertilized eggs are now at the University of Connecticut where they will be raised under different temperature and carbon dioxide conditions to assess their sensitivity to climate change parameters. The team will also attempt to take DNA and RNA samples to further investigate potential factors contributing to the high sensitivity to carbon dioxide observed in sand lance.