The first SI_ARCTIC survey was conducted with R/V Helmer Hanssen 19 August-7 September 2014. The results from the survey showed interesting differences between eastern Fram Strait and the region north of Svalbard regarding plankton, fish and marine mammals.
During the survey we sampled all parts of the marine ecosystem including physical, chemical and biological oceanography (temperature, salinity, currents, fluorescence, oxygen, nutrients and chlorophyll). We sampled phytoplankton and zooplankton (species abundance and biomass), fish (species abundance, biomass, age and stomach samples, and benthic organisms (species abundance and biomass) using a multitude of different gear. We also conducted underway acoustic registration of fish and plankton (eco sounder) and ocean currents (ADCP), underway measurements of surface layer temperature, meteorology and sea state, and visual observations of marine mammals and birds.
The main results from the survey showed:
• Clear differences in physical environment and the species between eastern Fram Strait and the region north of Svalbard.
• Eastern Fram Strait was dominated by fish in the east and plankton in the west. There were not much whales or seals in this region.
• The region north of Svalbard was dominated by plankton (smaller animals than in Fram Strait), seals and whales.
• Cod was the dominant fish species (in the survey region).