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The Pearl Chain Reef

Cruise diary:

New coral reefs discovered off Northern Norway

During the past two weeks of the MAREANO (Marine AREA database for NOrwegian coastal and sea areas) expedition, several new coral reefs have been discovered. One of them is Pearl Chain Reef (Perlekjederevet) that was found west of the town Sandnessjøen,  at a depth of approximately 290 meters. This is a narrow coral reef complex extending over a kilometer in length.

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Out of shape mackerel

In recent years, mackerel stocks have been thriving, both in terms of their numbers and distribution. However, a new study of over 25,000 mackerel has found that the individual mackerel are not doing so well. They are growing more slowly and have become thinner, probably due to tough competition for food within the population.

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Cruise participants

Cruise diary:

Mission Accomplished — yet another successful cruise!

During the course of two weeks the biology and geology was mapped at 73 locations along the shelf edge west of the town Sandnessjøen  at depths ranging between 220 and 760 meters. At 14 of these sites, a total of 83 bottom samples were collected using grabs, cores, sleighs, and beam trawls. At all sites the seafloor was investigated and documented using the Chimaera video rig (Chimaera is the Latin name for the rabbit fish/rat fish).

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Hunting a giant Arctic fish

In recent weeks, the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) has put considerable effort into the annual Arctic Ocean survey in the area north of Svalbard. With RV “Helmer Hanssen” as the platform, the marine ecosystem was upended and samples and measurements were taken of everything from the chemical composition of microscopic amphipods to jellyfish, fish fry and larger fish such as cod and redfish.

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“Johan Hjort ” on whale safari

Cruise diary: On board ”Johan Hjort” there are two whale observers that register whales along the cruise tracks, as long as the weather permits. When it is rough seas or fog, then the registering stops.
On the 28th August we came to an area a little south from Hopen island with a large concentration of humpback whales.

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Fish diversity north of Svalbard

Cruise diary: The oceans are full of fish. With nearly 35.000 species described all over the world, fish are the most diversified group of vertebrates. The finding of a new undescribed species is still not a past activity for researchers working in fish systematics; about 200–300 new species are described yearly in the world.

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European Lobster

In focus: European lobster

The European lobster has been found from the Mediterranean Sea to Northern Norway and west to the Shetland Island and western Ireland. It is usually found in shallow waters less than 40 m deep, where it is night active and shelter in burrows during daytime.

Their preferred habitat is moderately exposed areas with a complex bottom substrate of a mixture of sand and rocks. The lobster has a wide diet, hunting live prey and scavenging on dead organisms.

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