What the fish crew was up to–post 2

January 11th, 2017, “Max transect”, we finally made it up “north”. This year, the fish team also worked with a project conducted by Post-doc Maxime Geoffroy that aims to relate the content of pelagic trawls with acoustic measurements. The purpose of this is to monitor the seasonal position of the back-scatter layer in the water column and to document what it is composed of (mostly mesopelagic fish and krill as we’ve noted in our trawls). This project required us to perform MIK nets and pelagic trawls on the “Max transect” north of Svalbard. The sampling plan and transect position were changed slightly due to bad weather but we managed to get most of what we initially came here for, which was very satisfying. The trawls we conducted north of Svalbard contained very few polar cod but an impressive number of Sebastes sp. and Themisto libellula, a typically Arctic amphipod that polar cod feed on extensively.

Julia in the fish lab.

Throughout the cruise, we sampled opportunistically for a number of other projects, namely a project looking at capelin otoliths, another one looking at “anything that is rare and ugly – just like Carl”, we helped Erin with her attempt to gather ice associated amphipod north of Svalbard, and collected specimen for undergraduate courses back at UiT for Bodil and UNIS for Janne.

“Anything that is rare and ugly – just like Carl”
Atlantic cod found north of Svalbard. This kind of find is not uncommon now a day even though these species are typically boreal species. Their presence could be part of the reason why polar cod are absent in these areas.
Atlantic cod.

-Marine Cusa (Research Assistant, UiT)