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Figur 4
Coral reef.
Photo: MAREANO/Havforskningsinstituttet
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MAREANO Survey will Map Coral Reefs and Fishing Banks

In mid-September, R/V G.O. Sars embarked upon the 2012 MAREANO (Marine AREA database for Norwegian coastal and sea areas) fall survey. This year’s study area includes: coral reefs at Sula Reef outside South Trøndelag; several fishing areas along the route Kristiansund - Halten; and selected areas of the Møre Bank and Storegga North.

All MAREANO cruises are equipped with the “Campod” custom-built video rig. Researchers expect that these video recordings will provide improved photo documentation of benthic habitat and organisms.

In quest of exciting new discoveries

The survey does not focus exclusively on corals; researchers also investigate the condition of areas where corals are likely to occur, and conducts through mapping of these areas.

- Previous surveys have been focused on corals. As consequence, we have little knowledge of benthic areas where corals do not occur. Benthic areas off the coast of mid-Norway are rich in sea life and have high fish productivity. During this cruise, we expect to find several new reefs, in addition to the area with gas-seep communities and sponge beds, says Buhl-Mortensen.

Mapping the seabed

It's not just special bottom types and vulnerable habitats that researchers are looking for while mapping the benthos during MAREANO surveys.

- One of the major goals for MAREANO is to map benthic habitats, including areas which appear drab and boring, muddy and gray, or sandy and lifeless. In areas such as these we can make exciting new discoveries. In such benthic habitats, animals live burried within the sediments. Only through close investigation it is possible to uncover and describe the wealth of small organisms inhabiting them, says Buhl-Mortensen.

Altogether, samples from an area of 6590 km2 are collected when the cruise is finished the second week of October.  Initially, the Iverrigde, the reef complex at Sula, and parts of the Møre banks will be surveyed using the Campod video rig. Survey results describing these areas must be completed by September 2013 to support scheduled revision of the plan for Integrated Management of the Norwegian Sea. During the latter part of the survey, outer regions of the Møre banks will be investigated using various bottom-sampling techniques.

Cruise reports

If you are interested to learn what scientists aboard "R/V G.O. Sars" discover during the 2012 Fall Survey, you can follow the cruise reports which are to be published on www.mareano.no.

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about MAREANO.

Contact

Pål Buhl-Mortensen
55 23 85 99
Børge Holte
916 30 856
Beate Hoddevik
908 21 630