In 2009, the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) launched a program to collect oceanographic data alongside survey fishing data to better understand halibut distributions and abundance in relation to climate. Since then, oceanographic profilers have been routinely launched from the decks of the survey boats and safely retrieved. However, in two cases, the profilers were not retrieved safely and remain on the fishing grounds. The instruments, or profilers, weigh about 60 pounds each and are housed inside a steel cage that measures approximately 11" width x 9" depth x 42" height (see figure below). The IPHC is offering a $1500 reward each for the retrieval and return of the missing instruments.

Profiler photo
Sea-bird profiling instrument and floats used for IPHC research

Missing Profiler One. A profiler was lost on July 30, 2009 off the east side of Kodiak Island at 56°49.95'N latitude and 153°09.12'W longitude in about 45 fathoms of water. When lost, the profiling instrument had a 40 pound anchor attached to the bottom and no floats attached on top. The profiler is thought to be sitting hard on bottom and may be snagged by fishing or other gear.

Missing Profiler Two. The second profiler was lost June 11, 2011 on the south side of Adak Island at coordinates 51°29.785'N latitude and 176°53.543'W longitude in about 247 fathoms of water and moderate currents. When lost, the instrument had a 60 pound weight attached to the bottom via 15 m of buoy line, and orange hardball floats attached to the top. If the anchor/float assembly is intact, the floats will have suspended the profiler approximately 15 m off bottom. The instrument is attached to the anchor line via a weak link that is designed to pull loose if forced, sending the instrument and float configuration to the surface. It may be possible to snag the assembly with fishing or other gear.

A reward of $1500 is offered for each of these instruments if recovered either alone, or with supplemental gear (anchor and/or floats) attached. No reward is offered for floats and anchor only.

If found, please contact Lauri Sadorus (x7677) or Michael Larsen (x7671) at the IPHC (206-634-1838).

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