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Department of Ocean Sciences News


THE STUDENTS tentatively grip their scalpels. The herring lie waiting on the lab tables. “Alright, let’s look at some fish,” calls one of the instructors. They set to work, gently scraping scales from the flesh. “We start on the outside,” says a second instructor, moving from group to group. “Let’s get a good look at the fins, scales, mouth. Then we’ll open it up.”

There are a few giggles and whispers. But by the time they get into the internal organs, the whole room is deep in concentration.

Fish dissection is one of the tasks for these students from Holy Trinity High in Torbay. Before their visit to Memorial University’s Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) is over, they will also identify and classify invertebrates, learn about water quality and marine habitats, and do a training session with the harp seals.

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Daryl Jones, also known as The Seal Guy, laughed when asked what surprises him most about working with harp seals at the only research site of its kind in the world.

 ``When the seals do what we want,'' he said before hand-feeding his charges a snack of herring at the Ocean Sciences Centre in Logy Bay.

``They're smart but they're very independent. They're similar to cats.'' 

Photo Credit © Canadian Press photo

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