Saturday, 1 August 2015

Welcome to the Jelly Farm Project cruise blog 2015!

This cruise is taking place aboard the MS Solvik from the 1st to the 10th August 2015, sampling in Lurefjorden and Masfjorden in Norway. 


Norwegian Institute for Water Research
International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS)
University of Oslo
Ghent University
National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS)
Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Laval University, Canada

Project leaders:

Dr Paul Renaud (Akvaplan-niva)
Dr Andrew Kvassnes Sweetman (IRIS)

Lurefjorden from MS Solvik

The Jelly Farm Project:

Ocean health is declining due to a combination of climate warming and
human activities, and is often accompanied by a reduction in ecosystem
services. This decline is particularly evident in coastal regions where inputs
from municipal, agricultural, aquaculture, and industrial sources lead to
blooms of algae and gelatinous plankton. In Norway, one of the main threats
to the health of coastal ecosystems is an increase in the deposition of
organic matter to the sea floor. Excess feed and fish-waste from fish farms
are major sources of organic matter, and the sinking of dead jellyfish, an
increasing problem in some fjords, is another. This organic matter can alter
the nutrient cycling on the sea floor and, in some cases, result in severe
depletion of dissolved oxygen in the water. This can have impacts throughout the
ecosystem, as well as upon the economic services that the ecosystems
provide for society. We will investigate the effects of organic inputs from
these two sources individually and in combination, in both southern and
northern Norwegian fjords. We will use modern technology to quantify the
inputs and the consumption of organic matter at the sea floor, and then
bring these data into state-of-the-art ecosystem models to put them in a
broader context. We will then use the modelled predictions to identify the
effects of organic enrichment on ecosystem services. Finally these results
will be presented to diverse stakeholders for use in coastal planning and
management decisions.


Dr Andrew Kvassnes Sweetman, International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS) (Project leader)
Prof Elisabeth Alve, University of Oslo (Principal investigator)
Dr Silvia Hess, University of Oslo
Magnhild Torper, MSc student, University of Oslo
Graihagh Hardinge, PhD student, Natural History Museum London, University of Southampton

Jelly Farm Cruise August 2015 aboard MS Solvik. From left to right: Graihagh Hardinge, Dr Andrew Sweetman, Prof Elisabeth Alve, Leon Pedersen, Dr Silvia Hess, Magnhild Torper.

MS Solvik, captained by Leon Pedersen.

Special thanks are given to the Christoffer Schander Memorial Fund (University of Bergen), who provided funds for PhD student Graihagh Hardinge to take part in the cruise. 

Christoffer Schander (1960 - 2012) was Professor of Marine Biodiversity for the Department of Biology at the University of Bergen from 2004 to 2011. This memorial fund, which provides support for fieldwork and museum collections-based projects, has allowed Graihagh to travel to Norway to sample Periphylla jellyfish. These samples will be analysed at the Natural History Museum London and the National Oceanography Centre Southampton post-cruise. 


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