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MAREANO's chemical data are available in one separate data file

All the analytical data from the MAREANO Chemistry Program for 2003-2013 are compiled into one database which can be downloaded. The data file will be updated in January each year.

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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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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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Cruise diary:

Looking for pollution in the Norwegian Sea

The ongoing MAREANO cruise has finished surveying the shelf edge south of Skjoldryggen at the mid-Norwegian shelf, and is now concentrating on the shelf edge between Skjoldryggen and Trænadjupet. Sediment samples have been collected from ten locations, including five with multicorer.

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The deep-sea seapen Umbellula: cheek to cheek in the deep sea

Cruise diary: One of the most spectacular creatures that we occasionally encounter down in the deep, cold ocean is the deep-sea seapen Umbellula encrinus. This spectacular organism, resembling a giant plant or exploding fireworks is in actual fact a colony of giant polyps, which are collected in a crown perched atop a stem, of sorts.

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The seacrets of the shelf edge

Cruise diary: Thanks to the good weather with almost flat sea the mapping around the shelf edge off Trøndelag and Nordland has proceeded nicely without delay. The video documentation and bottom sampling in the southern mapping area is now finished.

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MAREANO’s autumn cruise 2015

Cruise diary: During MAREANO’s last biology/geology cruise this year, we will map two areas around the shelf edge off the counties of Trøndelag and Nordland. These areas are located north and south of the ridge called Skjoldryggen.

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Cruise diary:

Deep sea snow storm in the Barents Sea

While sending the video-platform Chimaera towards the bottom of the Barents Sea (250–300 m), we see a large amount of particles swirling through the water like snow. The large particles are observed from tenfold of meters above the seabed and down to the seafloor.

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Cruise diary:

The Barents Sea surveys continue

MAREANO's first cruise of 2015 set sail from Tromsø last Friday bound for the new Norwegian area of the Barents Sea. Sixteen scientists and technicians will spend the next two weeks onboard the research vessel G.O. Sars, investigating one of the world's richest seas. The benthic environment and faunal communities over an area of 12 000 km2 is to be sampled while a total of 44 line kilometers across 60 sites will be filmed with high resolution video.

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Workshop to protect marine ecosystems

The Institute of Marine Research hosts FAO workshop on the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems in the high seas
 

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Surrounded by corals

A number of different coral reefs have been discovered in waters off the Norwegian coast. The Røst Reef off Norway’s Lofoten Islands is the world's largest known Lophelia reef. That these corals almost encircle the entire North Atlantic is more unknown.

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Discovery of a new sideswimmer

A new species of sideswimmers (amphipod) has been found on the continental slope off northern Norway. The new species is approximately 1 cm long, and appears to prefer water temperatures below 0 °C and depths of 1,000-2,600 metres. In total, 50 specimens of the new species were found.

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New biotope map for areas offshore Troms and Finnmark

A new biotope map for the area including Troms III and the shelf edge to west Finnmark is now available on MAREANO's map service.

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Cruise diary:

Another successful MAREANO cruise finished

MAREANO's last biology-geology-pollution mapping cruise this season is finished, and once more we have had good weather in the Barents Sea. Thus, we have finished all cruise activities that were planned for this year, in addition to making a small start on next year's tasks.

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Cruise diary:

Biological postcards letter from Finnmark and the Barents Sea

This newsletter has been written by all the biologists onboard the G.O.Sars at the last biogy and geology cruise in 2014. Each biologist has picked her favourite photo from the work on this cruise, and they have written a story for that picture.  There are many different voices here, this reflects both the diversity we see in the benthic communities – and the diversity among the biologists.

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Cruise diary:

A mosaic of habitats on the Finnmark coast

700 meters is almost as long as twice around a sport-field. It is also the length of one MAREANO video-transect. Sometimes (or in some areas?) all 700 meters will look much the same, but other times we observe large variations along the line. This is the story about a transect with lots of changes.

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The last MAREANO cruise this year has just started

Cruise diary: This week marks the start of the third and last MAREANO cruise in 2014. Onboard R/V G.O. Sars, we find 16 enthusiastic researchers and technicians who are all ready to examine the seafloor of the Finnmark coast and the SE Norwegian part of the Barents Sea.

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MAREANO mapping off the coast of Finnmark

Cruise diary: Sunday April 13 at 13.30 we left Tromsø and have since conducted 26 video transects and six sampling stations, where a suite of gears is used.

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MAREANO-surveys in 2014

In its tenth year, MAREANO is to survey both the Norwegian and the Barents Sea. Bathymetric measurements in the Barents Sea have been undergoing since January along the Russian-Norwegian border while the 2014 start-up in the Norwegian Sea took place in March. The biological, geological and chemical sampling will start on April 13 off the coast of Finnmark and in the south-eastern part of the Barents Sea, and on June 16 in the Norwegian Sea, northeast of Mørebankene.

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New polychaete species

Once again, a polychaete species has been discovered in samples from a MAREANO survey. The new species has been named Scalibregma hanseni and was collected in subzero temperatures at 765 meter depth from the continental slope in the Norwegian Sea.

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Biotopes of the mid-Norwegian continental shelf

A biotope map for the Norwegian Sea based on video data from MAREANO 2012 is now available on www.mareano.no. Biotopes are regions with similar communities of animals living on the seabed, in a similar physical environment. Maps such as these, which bring together the physical and biological attributes of the seabed, can provide particularly valuable information for sustainable management.

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Biotope map for Nordland VI published

MAREANO scientists have now produced a biotope map for the Nordland VI area in Northern Norway. "Biotope" is a term used to describe the main biological communities and the physical environment they inhabit.  MAREANO video data were to determine the biological communities and this information was put together with bathymetry, terrain and geological data to model the overall distribution of biotopes.

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A bristle worm shuts the door on us

You'll never have seen anything like this before! A small bristle worm, just a few centimetres long, suddenly decides to withdraw into its house, closing the door tightly behind it.

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Living in a landslide

Cruise diary: MAREANO is currently mapping the southern part of Storegga, along the shelf edge and slope areas where a series of underwater landslides have occurred, most recently the famous Storegga slide, which dramatically altered the underwater landscape here some 8200 years ago.

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In deep water off Mørebankene

Cruise diary: The last piece of the bottom areas on and around Mørebankene are now surveyed by Mareano after two weeks work aboard the research ship G.O. Sars. A varying benthic fauna living within old avalanches and on plains has been videotaped and sampled. The rate is now set for the waters off the coastline from Kristiansund to Haltenbanken.

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The kingdom of the sea anemones

Cruise diary: Approximately 120 sea miles north of Vardø (coast of Finnmark), at depths between 210-350 meters, the MAREANO survey recorded a muddy seabed with cobbles and boulders that were covered by sea anemones.

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A seabed full of pockmarks

Cruise diary: The second MAREANO cruise in 2013 maps the seabed along the Russian border in the Barents Sea. Over large parts of the Barents Sea, the seabed is full of pockmarks. The processes that create pockmarks are important for both fauna and climate, and the ongoing MAREANO cruise will provide data that will contribute to resolving questions related to these.

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Can we find gold in mud?

Cruise diary: MAREANO often writes cruise-reports about all the beautiful and exciting things we observe with out video-rig. This is of course a very important part of the MAREANO-programme, and much of our cruise-time is allocated to filming our videolines. These data are the backbone in our descriptions of nature types, and they are the basis for our maps (e.g. maps of vulnerable nature types). But don’t believe that all we do on a cruise is to sit in the dark videoroom watching the sea-floor. We sample using quite a lot of other methods as well!

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The first MAREANO survey 2013 is in progress

Cruise Diary: MAREANO's first biology / geology / chemistry survey in 2013 started on Wednesday 12 June from Kristiansund, west of Norway. This time the research ship "Johan Hjort" is used.

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The MAREANO surveys 2013

As many as six vessels will participate in MAREANO surveys in 2013. Among other areas in the Norwegian Sea, the shelf edge is to be mapped down to depths of ca. 1.000 meters. In the Barents Sea, the Norwegian part of the previously disputed area along the Russian border will also be surveyed.

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Updated biotope map published for Tromsøflaket-Eggakanten

MAREANO’s map service now includes an updated map showing the predicted distribution of biotopes across the Tromsøflaket-Eggakanten region.

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Walkabout at the seafloor

Cruise report: While using a video-rig to map the biodiversity of the sea-bottom, we often observe animal tracks crossing the seafloor. Such tracks can be holes, mounds or traces that are a result of the animals’ movement. This last week we have seen many such very decorative tracks on the seafloor in the area of Sunnmørsbankene at around 200 m depth, and the amount and density of the tracks bear witness of quite heavy “traffic” in some areas.

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More coral reefs off the mid-Norwegian coast

Cruise report: During the 2012 MAREANO autumn cruise, scientists onboard RV ”G.O. Sars” discovered 15 new coral reefs off the coast of Trøndelag and Møre and Romsdal counties.

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Iverryggen - Glacial Formations and Coral Reefs

Cruise report: 65 kilometers due west from the outer tip of Vikna in Nord-Trøndelag, just north of Haltenbanken, a ridge named Iverryggen is encountered. On the otherwise fairly flat topography Iverryggen rises more than 130 meters above the seafloor. On the slopes of Iverryggen many coral reefs are found, and this area is protected.

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MAREANO finds unknown species

Dozens of new polychaete species unknown to science have been detected in seabed samples collected by MAREANO in the Norwegian Sea during the last couple of years. In addition, scientists have been able to extend the known area of occurrence of a number of species. The findings contribute to an increased understanding of species diversity in the little-known and "invisible" animal world within the deep-water bottom sediments off the North-Norwegian coast.

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MAREANO's spring-cruise was finished in deep water at Storegga

Cruise report: The first MAREANO cruise this year has been successfully finished after a one month survey off Vesterålen/Nordland VI and off North-Trøndelag and Møre. The last 2-3 days were used for video filming in the northern part of the Storegga where both depth and fauna communities varied. In deep water the communities were affected by sub-zero temperatures and a thousands of years old underwater slide.

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Discovered three new coral reefs off Trøndelag

Three unknown coral reefs are registered outside Frohavet in Trøndelag (mid-Norway) as part of the survey conducted by the MAREANO programme. One of the coral reefs are probably 200-250 meter long, while the other two seems to be a few tens of meters in extent.

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MAREANO's spring-cruise

MAREANO's spring-cruise with R/V G.O. Sars has now been going on for about one week. The purpose of this first part of the cruise is to complete the mapping of habitats, benthic fauna and pollutants in the Nordland VI area off Lofoten, while in the second part video-filming will take place in the Storegga area and an area between Kristiansund and Halten.

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New sea spider found in Norwegian waters

The sea spider Cilunculus battenae was recently recorded in the Norwegian Economic Zone (NEZ) for the first time, when bottom samples from the MAREANO cruises from 2007-2009 were analysed. So far 21 different species have been found in the samples. Two species have previously been observed in the NEZ a few times.

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Investigating the shallow areas of Lopphavet in Troms

MAREANO has completed the mapping at Troms III outside of Arnøya, located in Lopphavet in Troms, and is now steaming southwards to Nordland VI, at the southern tip of Lofoten.

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Successful MAREANO summer cruise comes to an end

This summer’s MAREANO cruise with research vessel “G.O. Sars” ends today in Tromsø, with no time lost due to bad weather or equipment problems we have been very lucky, and have completed all the planned work, and a few extras.  The Troms III area offshore north Troms (north Norway) has been the focus of the second leg of the cruise, continuing the good work begun in the first leg.  Following video surveys over several previously undocumented coral reefs during the first leg, right at the end of the second leg we were lucky enough to encounter yet another reef, around 20 km north of Vannøya (see map below).

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The MAREANO summer cruise 2010

A quick note from all on board the Norwegian research vessel "G.O. Sars". We are making good progress with the first of two MAREANO cruises to be undertaken this year, and are now mid-way through the second and final leg of this research cruise.

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The impact of trawling

Videos taken by the MAREANO project immediately after bottom trawling in the Troms III area show bottom sediments that are stirred up and sponges covered in “dust”. It appears that the trawling destroys the squat lobster’s burrows, and there is also very little fauna visible in the direct trawl path.

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Parasite feeding on corals

A coral parasite, previously only observed off the east coast of Canada, has been found on cold-water corals in Norway. The parasite is probably not a great threat to the coral, but it leads to clear deformities in the coral.

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This year’s first MAREANO mission starts off North Cape

Once again in 2010, the MAREANO project will carry out two three-week scientific missions with the research vessel “G. O. Sars”. The first one starts on 24 July, and the second one starts on17 September. This year’s activities start off North Cape and finish in Nordland VI, south-west of the Lofoten Islands. The aim is to map biodiversity, geology and biotopes in an 18,500 square kilometre area. Once completed, the MAREANO programme will have mapped a continuous area of sea including Troms I, Troms III, Troms II, Nordland VII and parts of Nordland VI.

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Vulnerable deep-water biotopes

Various types of sponges, sea pens and corals are the key species in the seven biotopes that have been discovered on the bottom of the sea in the areas off northern Norway mapped by the MAREANO programme. Now a new map showing the location of these vulnerable biotopes has been published on the project’s map service.

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“Floating” coral reefs

Corals in a multitude of shades of white, pink and orange shone towards the sea surface from the legs of a platform that was recently dragged into Hardangerfjorden from the North Sea. The most colourful coral was the reef-building Lophelia pertusa, but a far rarer visitor was also discovered. The non-branching deep-water coral Desmophyllum cristagalli has only been found in Norway on two previous occasions.

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2700 metres below sea level

Blue holothurians (sea cucumbers) amongst sea lilies together with brilliantly red shrimps and irregular sea urchins were just some of the astonishing creatures that scientists observed when they earlier this autumn they explored the sea bottom down to 2700 metres depths in Nordland VII, an area off the coast of Northern Norway.

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The MAREANO programme

MAREANO maps depth and topography, sediment composition, biodiversity, habitats and biotopes as well as pollution in the seabed in Norwegian coastal and offshore regions. The Institute of Marine Research, the Geological Survey of Norway and the Norwegian Hydrographic Service comprise the Executive Working Group which is responsible for carrying out the MAREANO field sampling and other practical tasks. The overall aim of the programme is to conduct base-line mapping of bottom habitats in Norwegian waters, and to convey knowledge gained through the MAREANO Internet portal.

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