Field Mission to Sognefjorden 2011
Last week a team of twelve researchers and research technicians set out on a 5-day cruise to Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, Sognefjorden.
The scenery was definitely impeccable, but instead of cocktails by the pool and late night parties it was freshly fixed specimens in the lab and late night mud sieving that was on the programme. Despite this, we had a really good time, due to mostly calm seas, fine weather, and the excellent catering on RV Håkon Mosby .
The cruise was the first in a planned series of annual sampling trips (“Oppdrag Sognefjorden”) to investigate the marine fauna and flora of the Sognefjord system. This year’s focus was set on soft bottom communities, from the deepest parts of the fjord (down to nearly 1300m) to more shallow areas in Aurlandsfjorden and Fjærlandsfjorden.
It was a special experience to bring up fauna from the deep seafloor while being surrounded by snow-covered mountains! The cruise included 49 sampling stations at 18 different locations, employing a variety of gear such as a grab, a hyperbenthic sled, shrimp- and Agassiz trawls, a triangular dredge and a CTD water sampler. The sampled material and data will be used in (at least) seven individual research projects (from biodiversity of selected invertebrate taxa to population genetics and environmental genomics) and the general faunistics data will be included in the earlier mentioned long-term study: “Oppdrag Sognefjorden” - to be continued in November 2012 …