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Published in: Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences 24th Annual Symposium, 2005.


We describe the diving methods used for in-situ observations of the scyphozoan medusa, Aurelia sp., in two marine lakes on the island of Mljet, Croatia. Both lakes have a strong pycnocline at approximately 15 m. During this study (May, 2004) surface temperature was about 20o C; bottom temperature about 10o C. Visibility was 15 m to 30 m. Tide and currents were negligible. A dense resident population of Aurelia sp. and a predictable environment made this an ideal study site. Aurelia was most abundant in mid-water around the pycnocline. There were several dive objectives: specimen collection for laboratory analysis, population census, discrete plankton tows and direct observation of flow around swimming medusae. We used several methods for maintaining our orientation underwater including working from an anchor line, towing a tethered buoy, and use of a blue water rig. Because the environment was relatively benign we allowed the rig to drift free while the boat was standing by at a short distance. Often a tether was not required. This plan allowed the most freedom and provided an excellent reference throughout the dive.

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