Bathyal demersal fishes of Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone region (49–54°N) of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, I: Results from trawl surveys

Nicola J. Cousins, Mark A. Shields, Deborah Crockard, Imants G. Priede

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Abstract

Demersal fishes were sampled by single-warp otter trawl (OTSB) at three sites on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR), to the northeast (NE), northwest (NW) and southeast (SE) of the Charlie–Gibbs Fracture Zone at approximately 2500 m depth. The mean abundance was 4109 fish km−2 (SD 3714) and biomass 897.1 kg km−2 (SD 842.9) compared with 1996 fish km−2 (SD 1497) and 721.2 kg km−2 (SD 387) at the same depth on the Porcupine Seabight (PSB) segment of the NE Atlantic Ocean margin from previous studies. There was no significant difference in biomass or abundance between the three sites on the MAR, nor in comparison with the ocean margin. A total of fish 22 species were recorded at the three MAR sites with evidence of highest species richness at the SE site. No unique species were found on the ridge; but there were differences in species composition between the PSB and the MAR. Coryphaenoides brevibarbis and Antimora rostrata were important at both the NE and NW trawl sites on the MAR whereas Halosauropsis macrochir was most important in the SE. We conclude that the MAR is an important habitat for species otherwise confined to narrow strips of appropriate depth around the North Atlantic Ocean margins. The MAR supports similar population densities to ocean margin settings but with differences in relative importance of different species between regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-396
Number of pages9
JournalDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Volume98
Issue numberPart B
Early online date12 Sep 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2013

Keywords

  • demersal fish
  • Mid-Atlantic Ridge
  • trawling

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