Cod not almighty

The ocean waters of the Lofoten-Vesterålen archipelago are more diverse than the North Sea.

The seabed beyond Lofoten og Vesterålen is alive. These waters provide a haven for crabs, bivalves, anemones, and starfish, and their tiny offspring, to name just a few.

Democracy and devolution of power 

This diversity and abundance is one reason that several fish species choose this place to spawn and inhabit. The situation provides the basis for a type of democracy, in contrast to the North Sea, where cod rule the food chain, all-powerful.

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New data. Marc J. Silberberger collected data from the ocean floor in the comprehensive ARCTOS LoVe MarinEco project, financed by Statoil, Akvaplan-Niva and Nord university (photo: supplied)

– This devolution of power is a consequence of ecological variation and abundance. There are several different food chains, which comprise benthos (animals on and in the seabed) and fish, in Lofoten-Vesterålen than in the North Sea. This is why fish resources in the region are likely to be more resilient in the face of pressure from commercial fishing, says researcher and marine ecologist Marc Silberberger at Nord University.

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Ocean currents and the sea floor. Researcher Marc J. Silberberger researcher meroplankton in the seas beyond Lofoten and Vesterålen (photo: Per Jarl Elle) 

Oceans currents and seabeds 

A study, recently published by Silberberger, shows that ocean currents and the composition of the seabed are significant for diversity in the area.

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More democratic. Cod share power with other fish species in the seas beyond Lofoten and Vesterålen (photo: Wikipedia).
Marc J. Silbeberger received his PhD in Aquactic Biosciences from Nord University in July 2017. The title of his thesis is Spatial scales of benthic ecosystems in the sub-Arctic Lofoten-Vesterålen region.