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Pelagic ecosystems in the waters off East Antarctic (30o E-150o E)

posted on 2023-05-22, 13:41 authored by Stephen Nicol, Ben Raymond
The pelagic ecosystems of the waters off East Antarctica have been the subject of considerable study over the last 30 years. The BIOMASS surveys in the early 1980s provided information in several parts of this region (El-Sayed, 1994; Inagake et al., 1985; Miller, 1985; Miller & Montiero, 1988), a comprehensive set of surveys of the Cosmonaut and Cooperation Seas (30° E–80° E) was conducted in the 1980s and 1990s by Russian and Ukrainian scientists (Pakhomov, 1993, 1995, 2000; Pakhomov et al., 2002), multiple Australian surveys were conducted in the Prydz Bay region in the 1980s and 1990s (Smith et al., 1984; Hosie, 1994; Nunes-Vaz & Lennon, 1996). More recently, there have been several surveys around the sub-Antarctic islands of the Kerguelen Plateau (Blain et al., 2008) and two largescale Australian surveys – BROKE from January–March 1996 (Nicol, 2000) and BROKE-West from January–March, 2006 (Nicol & Meiners, 2010) – that have together surveyed much of the waters off East Antarctica (30° E–150° E) south of 62° S. There are also a number of historical studies against which more recent findings can be compared (Deacon, 1982; Mackintosh, 1972, 1973; Marr, 1962; Mizroch et al., 1985) as well as some fisheries information (Ichii, 1990) and data collected for the International Whaling Commission (Murase et al., 2001). A large number of more localized studies have also been conducted (e.g., Boyd et al., 2000; Law et al., 2001) and these provide insights into some of the more detailed biogeochemical and physical processes that occur along this coastline and at the major island groups. A review of the pelagic ecosystems off East Antarctica with a focus on examining the relationships between the large-scale physical and chemical environment and the biological productivity of the region was published recently (Nicol et al., 2006) and this paper should be consulted for a thorough overview. In this short review we will summarize the findings of the most recent large-scale survey off East Antarctica (BROKE-West, conducted in 2006) and qualitatively synthesize the information from this survey with that from the adjacent BROKE survey that was conducted along similar lines in 1996 (see Figure 8.1). The results of these surveys will be examined in the context of information from earlier studies.


Publication title

Antarctic Ecosystems: An Extreme Environment in a Changing World


AD Rogers, NM Johnston, EJ Murphy and A Clarke






Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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Copyright 2012 Wiley Blackwell

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Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences

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