New Study: Mackerel Steals Plankton from Sandeels
The preliminary results of a new study strongly indicate that sandeels in Icelandic waters don’t fatten because of competition over their primary source of food, plankton, with mackerel, which presence in Icelandic waters has increased in the past years. The number of sandeels, on the other hand, has dropped significantly in the same period, which causes problems for seabirds, such as puffins, as they feed on sandeels, Morgunblaðið reports. “There are two theories as to why sandeels are disappearing,” said Erpur Snær Hansen, biologist and divisional manager of ecology research at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History. “One concerns the competition over food, that the mackerel eats both the sandeel’s food and the sandeels themselves. Also that the large generation of haddock from 2003 ate a significant amount of sandeel roes.” “The other theory is that the quantity of plankton changes with warmer ocean temperatures, which causes the sandeels to be more meager,” Erpur explained. “Our preliminary results indicate that the sandeels aren’t gaining weight. The simple reason for that is that plankton is lacking in the ocean. Someone else is eating the plankton and the most likely culprit is mackerel,” he concluded. The arrival of mackerel is considered to have a widespread impact on the food chain. The study shows, for example, that gannet has started feeding on mackerel instead of sandeels.
Great tour .... Fin Whale spotting today !!
Outstanding tour ~ 2 big Fin Whales and one little Minke Whale !! ;))) Just when we were about to start searching for the whales one beautiful Minke Whale showed up right in front of our boat showing us its back and several times we were able to watch the animal from the side . But the we sailed around the bay and spotted several more Minke Whales which only surfaced for a little while and when we were to follow another Minke Whale we spotted a huge blow further out and since we knew from yesterdays evening tour that we have a big guest cruising around the bay ~ we followed the blow with good hope . Everyone with us seamed very excited about the animal and when we finally came closer we were lucky enough to become of evidence to watch a huge Fin Whale surfacing only 20 meters close to our boat !! We saw the the body incredibly well ~ such as the dark back with its with light streaks , kinda a bit blue grey light colours ~ also the sound of the big whale when breathing . The unique cetacean , wonderful and it moved very slow which gave us more time to observe all the body , like the is pointed head , wow ;) Not far we spotted one more Fin Whale ~ but we only gotten a good luck of the one next to our boat . Everybody was really happy and joyful for this event and now we are sailing towards the same area ~ maybe we are lucky to find the our 2 big rarely guests again ~