EAF-Nansen Programme

Surveys

The EAF-Nansen Programme survey Timeline highlights the research (carried out by the R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen. The aim of the Nansen scientific missions is to collect data and information on marine resources, habitats, environment and pollution in the surveyed countries. This knowledge will then help support developing countries in managing better their fisheries at regional and national level.

Navigate the timeline to learn more about the routes and legs of the surveys conducted by the R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen from 2017 to 2022.

Details from each leg can be accessed by clicking on the Timeline posts, or in the full list below. 

Survey # 2020 Leg 2

Leg 2. Transboundary Demersal Survey (northwest Africa)

Period: 27/02/2020 - 13/03/2020  (16 days)
Objectives of the Surveys:

The second leg of the 2020 survey was to study the transboundary demersal resources off Northwest Africa. The survey was expected to conclude in Las Palmas at the end of March. However, due to the corona virus outbreak and uncertain situation worldwide, the decision was taken to terminate the survey earlier and return the vessel to its home port in Bergen, Norway.

Local participants: 21
Norwegian scientists: 4

The main objective of this leg was to:

  • Obtain a synoptic overview of distribution and abundance of deeper-shelf and upper slope demersal resources that may be shared across the region;
  • Obtain information on demersal fish abundance, species and size composition, and diversity;
  • Map the environmental conditions (temperature, salinity, dissolved O2, chlorophyll-a, dissolved inorganic nutrients, photosynthetic active radiation, pH and Total Alkalinity), including sampling along historical hydrographic transects;
  • Map occurrence and abundance of zooplankton and ichthyoplankton (only during Leg 2.1);
  • Obtain information on benthic habitats
  • Record occurrence of marine debris (as they occur in the bottom trawl) and test a new sampling protocol developed for use onboard Dr. Fridtjof Nansen;
  • Sample sediment in selected localities for paleo-reconstruction aimed at understanding occurrence of OMZ (similar to what was done in the BCC area in 2019, in cooperation with the IAEA, Monaco);
  • Provide opportunities for on-the-job training of scientists and technicians on various aspects of survey implementation
Survey # 2020 Leg 1

Leg 1. Bottom Habitat Studies (northwest Africa)

Period: 29/01/2020 - 22/02/2020  (25 days)
Countries: Mauritania - Morocco
Objectives of the Surveys:

This survey was carried out with the aim to collect samples, visual data, and map seabed habitats in support of improved fisheries management in an ecosystem context.

Local participants: 17
Norwegian scientists: 6

The main objective of this leg was to:

  • Improve information on bathymetry using Multibeam echosounding and sub-bottom profiler
  • Improve knowledge on associated macro- and mega epibenthic organisms by videos, photos and beam trawling. Also record occurrence of marine debris;
  • Collect samples of macro- and epibenthic organisms, including genetic samples for connectivity studies (especially cold water corals);
  • Improve knowledge on sediment characteristics, including infauna, by collecting grab samples, as appropriate (some of the areas are rocky and this sampling will therefore not be possible);
  • Study oceanographic conditions with CTD and currents by ADCP/LADCP, including nutrients and pH
Survey # 2019 Leg 4

Leg 4. Pelagic Stocks and Ecosystems Survey (northwest Africa)

Period: 26/09/2019 - 19/12/2019  (74 days)
Countries: Gambia - Mauritania - Morocco - Senegal
Objectives of the Surveys:

This survey (including four legs 4.1-4.4) was conducted to provide a synoptic coverage of the main pelagic resources off Northwest Africa and of the oceanographic conditions in the area, and update the historic time series. Leg 4.5. was dedicated to mesopelagic transect.

  • Leg 4.1. Senegal and The Gambia survey
    Period: 26 September – 7 October (12 days)
    Port of departure:
    Dakar (Senegal)
    Port of arrival: Dakar (Senegal)
    Local participants: 10
    Norwegian scientists: 8

    The objective of this leg was to:
    • Map and asses the main pelagic resources and collect biological data for priority species;
    • Map occurrence and collect samples of  phytoplankton, zooplankton, egg and larvae, jellyfish;
    • Record hydrographical parameters such as temperature, salinity, oxygen, pH, and water nutrients on predefined stations;
    • Collect samples of microplastics
  • Leg 4.2. Mauritania survey
    Period: 9 – 20 October (12 days)
    Port of departure: Dakar (Senegal)
    Port of arrival: Las Palmas (Spain)
    Local participants: 17
    Norwegian scientists: 7

    The main objective of this leg was to:
    • Map and asses the main pelagic resources and collect biological data for priority species;
    • Map occurrence and collect samples of phytoplankton, zooplankton, egg and larvae, jellyfish;
    • Record hydrographical parameters such as temperature, salinity, oxygen, pH, and water nutrients on predefined stations;
    • Collect samples of microplastics
  • Leg 4.3. Cap Blanc – Cap Cantin survey
    Period: 24 October – 19 November (27 days)
    Port of departure: Las Palmas (Spain)
    Port of arrival: Casablanca (Morocco)
    Local participants: 18
    Norwegian scientists: 7

    The main objective of this leg was to:
    • Map and asses the main pelagic resources and collect biological data for priority species;
    • Map occurrence and collect samples of phytoplankton, zooplankton, egg and larvae, jellyfish;
    • Record hydrographical parameters such as temperature, salinity, oxygen, pH, and water nutrients on predefined stations;
    • Collect samples of microplastics
  • Leg 4.4. Transboundary Small Pelagic survey (Cap Cantin – Tanger)
    Period: 21 November – 1 December (11 days)
    Port of departure: Casablanca (Morocco)
    Port of arrival: Casablanca (Morocco)
    Local participants: 17
    Norwegian scientists: 9

    The main objective of this leg was to:
    • Map and asses the main pelagic resources and collect biological data for priority species;
    • Map occurrence and collect samples of  phytoplankton, zooplankton, egg and larvae, jellyfish;
    • Record hydrographical parameters such as temperature, salinity, oxygen, pH, and water nutrients on predefined stations;
    • Collect samples of microplastics
  • Leg 4.5. Mesopelagic transect
    Period: 3 – 16 December (13 days)
    Port of departure: Casablanca (Morocco)
    Port of arrival: Las Palmas (Spain)
    Local participants: 10
    Norwegian scientists: 8

    The main objective of this leg was to:
    • Obtain concurrent information on the acoustic properties and biological composition of the mesopelagic community;
    • Study the acoustic properties of mesopelagic fish and other mesopelagic organisms such as squids, crustaceans, gelatinous organisms and principal zooplankton taxa;
    • Monitor vertical movements of scattering layers or their components;
    • Investigate the effectiveness of sampling gear on the mesopelagic community;
    • Understand the trophic role through collecting samples for analysis of C and N stable isotope ratios and fatty acid composition;
    • Map the hydrographic/environmental conditions in the survey area (temperature, salinity, oxygen, chlorophyll, nutrients and pH values-acidity);
    • Collect data on light penetration;
    • Describe the abundance and biomass patterns of meso-zooplankton community;
    • Provide information on the abundance patterns of ichthyoplankton community (fish eggs and larvae);
    • Elucidate the trophic pathways of dominant mesopelagic larval fish taxa throughout their developmental stages;
    • Collect samples of jellyfish
Survey # 2019 Leg 3

Leg 3. Transboundary Ecosystem Survey (western Gulf of Guinea)

Period: 20/07/2019 - 25/09/2019  (42 days)
Countries: Côte d'Ivoire - Ghana - Guinea - Guinea-Bissau - Liberia - Sierra Leone
Objectives of the Surveys:

This survey (including two legs 3.1-3.2) was carried out to provide a synoptic coverage of the main pelagic and demersal resources in the Western Gulf of Guinea and of the oceanographic conditions in the area.

  • Leg 3.1. Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire survey
    Period: 20 July – 18 August (30 days)
    Port of departure:
    Tema (Ghana)
    Port of arrival: Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire)
    Local participants: 11
    Norwegian scientists: 7

    The objective of this leg was to:
    • Map the hydrographic and environmental conditions (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a, nutrients, pH and ocean currents);
    • to map primary productivity, zooplankton, ichthyoplankton and jellyfish;
    • Study the distribution and abundance of demersal and pelagic resources and the biological parameters for priority species;
    • Collect samples for genetic analysis of selected species;
    • Mapping the occurrence of microplastics and describing associated neustonic communities;
    • Record the occurrence of marine debris (surface and bottom trawl) and of floating seaweed aggregations (Sargassum sp.);
    • Collect samples for levels of environmental contaminants, nutrients, parasites and microorganisms related to food safety and pollution of selected species, with special regard to S. aurita, S. maderensis
  • Leg 3.2. Liberia to Guinea Bissau survey
    Period: 22 August – 3 September (12 days)
    Port of departure: Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire)
    Port of arrival: Dakar (Senegal)
    Local participants: 11
    Norwegian scientists: 5

    The main objective of this leg was to:
    • Map the hydrographic and environmental conditions (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a, nutrients, pH and ocean currents);
    • Map primary productivity, zooplankton, ichthyoplankton and jellyfish;
    • Study the distribution and abundance of demersal and pelagic resources and the biological parameters for priority species;
    • Collect samples for genetic analysis of selected species;
    • Mapping the occurrence of microplastics and describe associated neustonic communities;
    • Record the occurrence of marine debris (surface and bottom trawl) and of floating seaweed aggregations (Sargassum sp.)
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