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IMR Hear Abundant Krill in Southern Ocean

GENERAL - There are no large pelagic fish populations in the Southern Ocean. That is one of the conclusions after the Institute of Marine Research sent the research vessel G.O. Sars on a six-month mission to the southern hemisphere.

Krill, on the other hand, is abundant in the Southern Ocean. The Institute of Marine Research are now busy analysing the findings of the mission in order to calculate the quantities more accurately.

Around South Georgia, around Bouvet Island and south towards Dronning Maud Land they observed high densities of krill.

“G.O. Sars” left Bergen on 15 November 2007, and returned on 12 May 2008. Projects were carried out both on the way south and the way north, but in the Southern Ocean the main focus was on the AKES project. AKES stands for “Antarctic Krill Ecosystem Studies”.

The AKES project started in Montevideo, Uruguay, just after New Year, and ended in Walvis Bay, Namibia, at the end of March. The distance travelled was equivalent to almost half way round the earth.

The first part of the mission went via the Falklands Islands to South Georgia, before continuing east and south to almost 60 degrees south. From there the vessel headed north again along the 0 meridian to Bouvet Island and on to Cape Town in South Africa.

The second part of the AKES project saw the vessel head roughly due south to the Astrid Ridge near Dronning Maud Land, before returning north further west, with a detour to Bouvet Island.