Antarctic Fishing 6 - When it is very cold, the fish freeze quickly on contact with the freezing air

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Fishing through the sea-ice like this was always a risk. Once deployed, the net would start catching fish, if you didn't retrieve it every day and remove the fish, they would die in the net and this would attract various scavengers. After a short time it would be a horrible deadly mess - and completely useless for the purpose it was set for in the first place, to capture live fish.

If it was very cold, fish would freeze immediately on contact with the air - or almost so. A way around this was to pull the net as quickly out of the water as possible and into a bucket of water which would be then driven quickly back to the base where the fish were removed in balmy temperatures of -5C or more instead of -15C and well below outside (sea-water freezes at -1.8C, so the fish live their lives at this temperature irrespective of what the air temperature was - if it gets colder, the ice just gets thicker).

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Paul Ward - This picture may not be copied or used in any manner without prior written permission.