Aalisakkat: Distribution of fish and zooplankton around Greenland

Aalisakkat: Distribution of fish and zooplankton around Greenland

Caroline Bouchard

Fakultet / Forskningsinstitution:
Naturvidenskab / Grønlands Naturinstitut

Aalisakkat: Distribution of fish and zooplankton around Greenland

Around Greenland, pelagic fish and zooplankton represent a major food source for marine mammals, seabirds and commercial fish species. However, scientific knowledge of Greenland pelagic ecosystems is limited. The project aims to map the current distribution of zooplankton and pelagic fish populations around Greenland as a baseline for future studies on climate change. Specifically, the project aims to: 1) assess the current composition, distribution and abundance of zooplankton and pelagic fish around Greenland; 2) study spatial patterns of polar cod recruitment; and  3) investigate the physical and biological drivers underlying these patterns. This project will be based on acoustic data and biological sampling conducted during the expedition GLACE (GreenLAnd Circumnavigation Expedition) organized by the Swiss Polar Institute. The main approaches will be to: 1) link the zooplankton and fish distribution data collected during GLACE with different parameters of the physical environment (e.g. salinity and temperature from the CTD deployments, glaciers observation), and with data on other trophic levels (e.g. primary producers, seabirds, marine mammals) according to possibilities offered by the other teams participating in the expedition and 2) compare our data with similar work being conducted by colleagues in the Canadian side of Baffin Bay and in the Svalbard area.

Metoder for inklusion af samfundet og formidling overfor samfundet:
The project principle investigator (Bouchard) and her home institution (Greenland Institute of Natural Resources) are dedicated to formulate research and monitoring programmes relevant to the Greenlandic society and to communicate the findings appropriately to politicians, administrators and the public. As such, the knowledge gained during this project will help the assessment of natural resources and provide scientific advice on managing fish stocks in Greenland. We will disseminate the project results to the scientific community with at least two scientific articles in highly-ranked peer-reviewed journals and two presentations at international conferences. We will also communicate relevant information about the project with the Greenlandic public using different platforms such as Internet home pages (natur.gl, gcrc.gl) and social media (GCRC Twitter and Facebook page).

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