Fishing with Art

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There is nothing so much more enjoyable than spending your sunny Sunday fishing with Art DeVries. He always catches fish (even has one named after him–Paraliparis devriesi) and if you are lucky you will see a seal snout or two. Art is reasearching glycoproteins in a fish called Dissotichus mawsoni, a big ugly fish that just so happens to be good to eat. You’ve probably seen this fish in the fish market as Chilean Sea Bass (really a Toothfish). It seems these and the other sea creatures down here can exist in supercold water–almost minus 2 degrees Celsius–without freezing due to this glycoprotein. We tow out a PolarHaven (Weatherport) on a sledge and drill some holes in the ice and start fishing….

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It’s warm and snug in the tent and we jig off the bottom which is about 175 feet below the ice next to Inaccessible Island using Art’s Antarctic certified K-mart special spincasting rods which are about 2 feet long. This is a new site that Art is interested in and we pull plenty of smaller Trematomus newnesi and Pagothenia borchgrevinki (“borkys”) from the deep. These fish give their lives to researchers Clarabelle DeVries, Bryan Palmintier, Paul Sziko and Kevin Hoefling pictured here in an Antarctic Hot Tub …..

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in their efforts to elucidate the molecular structure of AFGP (Antifreeze Glyco-Protien). Visit this field guide site for more info on antarctic fishes.

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After catching about 60 fish, we’re plumb tuckered out and have to rest a bit before making the journey in the Pisten Bully back to McMurdo, 15 miles south. Stay tuned for Christmas!

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