Ecosystem mapping in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) during the SAS-Oden expedition

Hauke.Flores [ at ]


As a result of global warming, the marine ecosystem around the North Pole, the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO), is in fast transition from a permanently to a seasonally ice-covered ocean. The sea-ice loss is expected to enable summer access to the CAO for non-icebreaking ships, including fishery vessels, in the near future1. However, the lack of knowledge on the CAO ecosystem impedes any assessment of the sustainability of potential future fisheries in the CAO. Taking a precautionary approach, the EU and nine countries in October 2018 signed the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean. This agreement entered into force in June 2021 and a.o. requires the establishment of a joint scientific program to improve the understanding of the CAO ecosystem, including mapping and monitoring. To reduce the existing lack of knowledge, 12 scientists from the EFICA Consortium participated, together with 26 other on-board scientists, in sampling and data collection of ecosystem data during the Swedish SAS-Oden expedition in summer 2021. This report describes the field work performed by the EFICA scientists using water-column acoustics, deep-sea optical observations, and fish, zooplankton, sediment otolith and eDNA sampling for targeting fish, zooplankton and mammals. Further ecosystem data (physical, chemical and biological) were collected by the EFICA scientists in collaboration with other scientists on-board. Together with this report, a metadata database containing lists of all collected samples and data that are relevant for future fish-stock modelling and assessment studies was delivered to the European Commission.

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Snoeijs-Leijonmalm, P. , Flores, H. , Hildebrandt, N. , Sakinan, S. , Chawarski, J. , Thorvaldsson, B. , Menger, F. , Leroy, P. , Pérez-Martínez, C. , Morys, C. , Vargas Calle, J. and Muchowski, J. (2022): Ecosystem mapping in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) during the SAS-Oden expedition , [Other]

[thumbnail of FinalReport_SC06_SAS-Oden_220115.pdf]

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EFICA (contract research)

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