Using smaller vessels that allow access to shallow, nearshore waters, researchers from Stony Brook University and the Southwest Fisheries Science Center conducted the first multi-year survey of the population of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) in coastal waters near Livingston Island and discovered that nearshore waters had significantly higher krill biomass density than offshore waters. They also found that the nearshore waters had less interannual variation than offshore waters. These findings were published in the July 2010 issue of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
Antarctic krill are tiny shrimp-like organisms that are an integral part of the Southern Ocean food chain. Krill are an important food resource for penguins, seals, and some whales in the Southern Ocean, and are harvested for use in aquaculture feed and human dietary supplements.“Nearshore krill biomass is generally most accessible and attractive to land-breeding predators as well as to human fishers competing for this valuable resource,” said Dr. Warren.
“Although the spatial area of our nearshore survey is quite small when compared with that of the entire Scotia Sea, the high and stable densities of krill in shallow water may be more important ecologically than the offshore krill,” said Dr. Warren.About the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University
Leslie Taylor | EurekAlert!
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