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A small part of Norway

We can spot the Bouvet Island in the distance. This small island was made Norwegian territory in 1930. We are here to research the distribution of fish and plankton. This is the first time Norway surveys the marine resources in the area.

We know there will be krill and fish in the waters around the Bouvet Island. We hope for larger fish on the island’s shelf than what we have caught so far in the open waters.

The Bouvet Island was first discovered in 1739 by the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Lozier Bouvet. The island is 49 square kilometers and almost completely covered by ice. Its inhabitants consist mostly of seals, penguins and seabirds. A group of scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute have this summer tagged seals and penguins with satellite transmitters in order to learn more about their migration and feeding patterns.

G.O. Sars

They have emailed us some of their data which will be compared to the data collected on the G.O. Sars. We will deploy both of the platforms equipped with echo sounders and sample plankton and fish various places around the island. This will make us able to compare the behavior of the predators with the distribution of their prey.

Map showing the Bouvet Island and planned stations.

An important guideline for the management of the marine resources in Antarctica is that fishing shall not negatively affect the natural predators’ opportunity to find prey. Therefore, it is important to learn more about various predators’ behavior compared to the vertical and horizontal distribution of krill.

The researchers on the Bouvet Island have complained about all the bad weather. It seems like the nice days are few and far between. However, the sun is shining and the sea is almost flat as the island appears in the horizon.

Whale by the boat.

Earlier today the nice weather also allowed for another amazing experience. The research ship passed close to an iceberg where a group of whales was observed. Nick Guy and Roger Munns, the two cameramen who the BBC has a sent on this cruise to film schools of krill, went out with the Zodiac in case the whales were feeding on krill. Pretty much every other cruise participant not sleeping was on deck taking pictures for an hour. The whales seemed to be much more interested in the big vessel than the small zodiac and where practically brushing up along the ship’s side.

One of the whales coming really close to G.O. Sars. Photo: Thor A. Klevjer