Seals, crepidulas, and a fish sandwich
So, there are too many stories to tell about during my experience in an Island in the North Sea of Germany, Sylt. I stayed there for 10 days, to attend lectures and also field work (part of my master program).
Classes and lab work was carried out at Wadden Sea Station, the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). A comfortable and pleasant station, located at the interface between the North Sea and Wadden Sea.
The first days, we sampled algae in the shore, exposed to rain and wind. Fucus, Ulva, Polysiphonia and a couple more were collected. We also saw sea mice, chitons, bivalves, crabs and snails.
We also were abroad a vessel from the AWI, to collect some animals for the Aquatic Fauna class, we did it by dragging. We found different organisms, such as: tunicates, shrimps, hermit crabs, fishes, different types of snails…..but the most representative was the famous Crepidula fornicata. I have to say that at least more than 50% of the dragged samples were Crepidula.
C. fornicata is an invasive species, or let’s say a potential invasive species which was introduced from the North Atlantic to Europe, with the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica.
Also, on the way to collect those specimens we were lucky to find seals. It was the first time for me to see those animals in their natural environment, how amazing!
In between we had the opportunity to take a long walk in one of the beaches of the island, beautiful but cold. Only courageous people bathed there (a friend of mine).
In Sylt, you can also find a small market to get different things, such as souvenirs, candies, clothes, and of course a delicious fish sandwich. I ate two; I couldn’t miss the opportunity to try one of those.
about C. fornicata