Centre for Geobiology

29.01.2008 - New whale fall!

Authorities involved with the most recent beaching contacted researchers before dealing with the carcass. Schander was able to provide them with information about effective sinking protocols for the establishment of a “natural laboratory” around the carcass in the deeper fjord waters.


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In addition, this latest carcass will be sunk not too far from another carcass that was sunk in early autumn.

Schander is collaborating closely with some American researchers who have established a network of natural and deliberately sunk carcasses along the west coast of the US. They have established a “sinking protocol” that firmly anchors the carcass and identifies the location so that the “opportunistic colonisation” process can be followed for years.

The processes involved in colonising impromptu nutrient sources such as whale falls, venting and seep activity on the sea floor, have important consequences for the spreading of species, genetic diversity etc in the marine ecosystem. Scientists are hoping to use such “natural laboratories” to learn more about the processes and organisms involved.

Schander will lead his first “whale cruise” to three relatively local fall sites in March.