Preliminary results of the joint Russian-Norwegian airborne research of the Barents Sea in September-October 2002
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The conclusions given below are preliminary and will be refined after detailed processing of materials and data gained. 1. Large aggregations of harp seals were observed mostly in the near ice-edge zone, which was north of the distribution of capelin. 2. Aggregations of other marine mammals were recorded in the areas to the south and southeast of the Spitsbergen Archipelago, where data from vessel surveys showed a high biomass of capelin. 3. Data from this survey indicate that there is a relationship between distribution of capelin, and marine mammals and seabirds. Hence, materials and data on distribution of marine mammals and birds acquired during the aerial surveys are consistent with data from vessel-based surveys for capelin and other pelagic fish, and in some cases refine or supplement them. Cooperation and expeditious exchange of data between airborne and vessel surveys are of particular importance when doing aerial research, as it is not always possible to identify a food item in the areas of aggregations of marine mammals and seabirds. Airborne survey allows detecting rather precisely and quickly the potential prey concentrations, primarily capelin that is close to the sea surface, as well as observing marine mammals.
SerieIMR/PINRO joint report series
8 - 2002