CETACEANS AND SEA ICE - Lazarev Sea 2004



Shannon McKay and Kelly Asmus, both from the Whale Ecology Group Southern Ocean at Deakin University in Warrnambool, Australia, are conducting visual observations of cetaceans and sea ice aboard the Polarstern, the prestigious vessel of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany.


Departing from Cape Town, South Africa on the 27th of March 2004, they are currently southbound towards the German base, Neumayer, in the Lazarev Sea, part of the greater Weddell Sea gyre system. The main research focus this season is on the biology (over-wintering) of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) between the Greenwich meridian to 20šE and 62šS to 70šS. A range of other scientific disciplines will be at work, including biological and oceanographic surveys from a number of international programs.


Shannon and Kelly will be actively searching for whales, dolphins, seals and seabirds in all suitable weather conditions as well as obtaining sea ice concentration data, essential for determining what effects the patterns in concentration have on the distribution and densities of cetaceans in Antarctic waters.



Submitted by Shannon McKay