September 30, 2022

Big Surprise for Researchers When Unexpected Fish and Squid Found in the Central Arctic Ocean

Armhook squid in the Arctic Ocean spotted by the expedition fish webcam. Credit: EFICA Consortium
The Atlantic cod stemmed from Norwegian spawning premises, and had actually resided in Arctic water temperature level (-1 to 2 oC) for up to six years laboratory analyses showed. The fish preferred the Atlantic water layer, a slightly warmer water mass (0-2 oC) that reaches far into the Arctic basin in between the surface area and deeper water layers which are below 0 oC.
” So, even if the Atlantic cod does not have its own central Arctic stock, this research shows that it can endure. A little number of individuals seem to discover sufficient food to stay healthy for a longer time,” says Pauline Snoeijs Leijonmalm, planner of the EFICA Consortium and teacher in marine ecology at Stockholm University.
New insights in the performance of the pelagic food web
The research study thus adds a brand-new trophic level to the pelagic food web of the main Arctic community– that of big predatory fish and squid. Together with the smaller fishes in the DSL, constant immigration of bigger Atlantic fish contributes to possible food for mammals because seals and walrus can dive to the Atlantic water layer.
” The accessibility of small and even some bigger fish in the Atlantic water layer could explain why seals, walrus, and polar bear can be discovered even at the North Pole. Both fish and mammals are extremely couple of, but they are there,” states biologist Dr. Hauke Flores, Alfred Wegener Institute.
Pauline Snoeijs Leijonmalm. Credit: Esther Horvath/AWI
The new study likewise discovered that diel vertical migration of the DSL is missing throughout the polar night, half a year of continuous darkness (DSL at 100-250 m), and the polar day, half a year of constant light (DSL at 300-500 m). This suggests that the carbon flux from shallower to deeper water through everyday vertical migration of the DSL is hampered in the Central Arctic Ocean compared to all other oceans.
” During the short productive season of the polar day the DSL will stay in the much deeper part of the Atlantic water layer 24 hours each day, even when the sea ice disappears, because this process is regulated by the availability of light,” says Pauline Snoeijs Leijonmalm.
No harvestable fish stocks
Based upon their clinical results, the authors of the new paper in Science Advances conclude that– at least in the Eurasian Basin– there are no harvestable fish stocks today or in the future.
” This was expected due to the fact that the Central Arctic Ocean has very low nutrient concentrations and extremely low biological productivity. Even if more Atlantic fish and their victim would be advected with the water inflow from the Atlantic Ocean, the capacity of the Central Arctic Ocean ecosystem to support larger fish stocks lacks doubt rather restricted,” says Pauline Snoeijs Leijonmalm.
Pauline Snoeijs Leijonmalm stresses that it is of excellent importance that this delicate however totally functional ecosystem will get robust international defense similar to Antarctica.
International agreement prevents business fishing
Worldwide warming strikes the Artic region more difficult than the rest of the world and climate models forecast that the opening of the Central Arctic Ocean for non-ice-breaking vessels is just a matter of decades. Because the majority of the location consists of high seas– international waters outdoors national jurisdictions– possible future human activities here are discussed at international and national political levels.
” Usually, exploitation of freshly available natural deposits tends to precede scientific research study and management measures, and globally shared fish stocks in high seas are especially prone to overexploitation”, says Pauline Snoeijs Leijonmalm.
The 10 partners of the Agreement will soon be releasing a big Joint Scientific Research and Monitoring Program to collect brand-new fish and community information in the Central Arctic Ocean. The EU has actually currently begun this work by funding the EFICA Consortiums community research on the MOSAiC expedition (2019-2020), and the Synoptic Arctic Survey expedition with the Swedish icebreaker Oden (2021 ).
” This agreement avoids any business fishing for at least 16 years to come, and puts “science very first”, necessitating clinical evaluations of the status and distribution of possible fish stocks in the Central Arctic Ocean and the ecosystem supporting them– a wise political decision and a good start towards complete defense”, says Pauline Snoeijs Leijonmalm.
Recommendation: “Unexpected fish and squid in the main Arctic deep spreading layer” 18 February 2022, Science Advances.DOI: 10.1126/ sciadv.abj7536.

Researchers participating in the global MOSAiC expedition with research icebreaker Polarstern have discovered fish and squid in deep water in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. The results from Stockholm University, the Alfred Wegener Institute and associates in the European Fisheries Inventory in the Central Arctic Ocean (EFICA) Consortium are released today (February 18, 2022) in the scientific journal Science Advances.
It was a huge surprise when suddenly four bigger fish were caught at 350– 400 meters of depth. An even larger surprise to the research study team was that 3 of the fish were Atlantic cod, a predatory types that is not expected to live this far north and, being a seaside fish, not in a 4 kilometers deep ocean basin more than 500 kilometers away from any shoreline. The ten partners of the Agreement will soon be releasing a large Joint Scientific Research and Monitoring Program to collect new fish and ecosystem information in the Central Arctic Ocean.

The research team discovers Atlantic cod in the Arctic Ocean. Credit: UFA Show & & Factual, Germany
Single people of Atlantic cod and squid happen much additional north than previously expected. Scientists taking part in the worldwide MOSAiC exploration with research study icebreaker Polarstern have actually discovered fish and squid in deep water in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. The results from Stockholm University, the Alfred Wegener Institute and colleagues in the European Fisheries Inventory in the Central Arctic Ocean (EFICA) Consortium are published today (February 18, 2022) in the clinical journal Science Advances.
Little fish take place at really low abundances in the 200-600 m deep Atlantic water layer of the Amundsen Basin as shown by the special hydroacoustic dataset gathered by the EFICA Consortium that revealed a “deep scattering layer” (DSL) including zooplanktion and fish along a 3170 km long track of the MOSAiC exploration.
Therefore, it was a big surprise when all of a sudden four bigger fish were caught at 350– 400 meters of depth. An even larger surprise to the research group was that 3 of the fish were Atlantic cod, a predatory species that is not supposed to live this far north and, being a coastal fish, not in a four kilometers deep ocean basin more than 500 kilometers away from any shoreline. With a deep-sea electronic camera released below the sea ice, the researchers likewise found that Atlantic armhook squid and Atlantic lanternfish happen much more north than previously understood.

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