MAR-ECO The Cruise with M/S Loran Summer 2004
M/S Loran was hired to operate alongside the research vessel G. O. Sars during the second leg of the MAR-ECO expedition in the summer 2004. The vessel should supplement the sampling effort directed at demersal fish and other taxa captured by passive fishing gear. M/S Loran operated longlines, gillnets and traps to better explore the ridge and sample species in rugged terrain. Møre Research coordinated this effort. The longliner cruise was conducted without encountering major problems, and the goals were achieved. In 12 fishing days a total of 87 500 hooks (64 longlines, both set along the bottom and vertically) and gillnet sets were made, and only a limited amount of gear was lost. The majority of the stations were sampled with bottom-set longlines. The fishing depth ranged from 450 to 4300 m, and fishes were caught in the entire depth range. At these stations approximately 8800 animals, representing at least 50 different species of fishes and a few invertebrates, were caught. Large fish dominated the catch and the mean weight was 3.4 kg. Chondrichthyans (sharks, rays and chimaeras) were most numerous, but also a number of bony fishes were caught. It remains uncertain whether the samples contain species new to science. A number of fish specimens could not readily be identified to species, only to family or genus level, and these will have to be examined by specialists. The technical success of this cruise was assured through a very professional use of the very advanced ship and efficient gear handling by the very skilled captain and crew.
This report provides a first overview of areas sampled and investigated, methodology, and catches during the cruise on the M/S Loran.