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 # 2019 Leg 2

Leg 2. Transboundary Demersal Survey (southeastern Atlantic)

Period: 28/02/2019 - 16/07/2019  (118 days)
Countries: Angola - Democratic Republic of the Congo - Namibia - South Africa
Objectives of the Surveys:

This survey originally included six legs, with Kongo-Gabon survey (leg 2.6) that had to be replaced by an oceanographic transect across the Gulf of Guinea. Legs 2.1-2.5 was carried out to cover the demersal resources of the continental shelf and upper slope including distribution, abundance and biology of priority species and communities. The objective was also to collect biological samples of priority species, determine oceanographic conditions and map the map occurrence of microplastics and marine debris. Leg 2.3 was a mesopelagic transect survey aimed to study acoustic properties of mesopelagic fish, biology and collect samples for future analysis of mesopelagic fish and jellyfish off the coast of Namibia.

  • Leg 2.1. Demersal South-Africa survey
    Period: 28 February – 31 March (30 days)
    Port of departure:
    Cape Town (South Africa)
    Port of arrival: Walvis Bay (Namibia)
    Local participants: 16
    Norwegian scientists: 8

    The objective of this leg was to cover the west coast of South Africa from 20 to 800 meters depth, from the south (20 degrees east) to the border with Namibia. Continuation of the transboundary demersal time-series for the West Coast of South Africa and Namibia.
  • Leg 2.2. Demersal South Namibia survey
    Period: 4 – 24 April (20 days)
    Port of departure:
    Walvis Bay (Namibia)
    Port of arrival: Walvis Bay (Namibia)
    Local participants: 11
    Norwegian scientists: 6

    The objective of this leg was to cover the Orange Banks (to the depth of 1000 meters) for detailed mapping of the oceanographic conditions that are of importance for the distribution of juvenile M. paradoxus off the West Coast of South Africa.
  • Leg 2.3. Mesopelagic transect
    Period: 27 April – 7 May (11 days)
    Port of departure:
    Walvis Bay (Namibia)
    Port of arrival: Walvis Bay (Namibia)
    Local participants: 17
    Norwegian scientists: 7

    The objective of this leg was to:
    • Study acoustic properties of mesopelagic fish;
    • Study biology and collect samples for future analysis of mesopelagic fish and jellyfish
  • Leg 2.4. Transboundary demersal North Namibia survey
    Period: 11 May – 10 June (30 days)
    Port of departure:
    Walvis Bay (Namibia)
    Port of arrival: Luanda (Angola)
    Local participants: 20
    Norwegian scientists: 7

    The objective of this leg was to cover transboundary demersal resources between Namibia and Angola. Furthermore, while in Namibia, the R/V Dr.Fridtjof Nansen carried out parallel bottom trawling with the R/V Mirabilis for intercalibration between the two vessels.
  • Leg 2.5. Angola survey
    Period: 13 – 27 June (14 days)
    Port of departure:
    Luanda (Angola)
    Port of arrival: Pointe Noire (Gabon)
    Local participants: 2
    Norwegian scientists: 6

    The main objective of this leg was to survey transboundary demersal species in South-Eastern Atlantic.
  • Leg 2.6. Oceanographic survey - Gulf of Guinea
    Period: 29 June – 16 July (17 days)
    Port of departure:
    Luanda (Angola)
    Port of arrival: Tema (Ghana)
    Local participants: 2
    Norwegian scientists: 8

    The objective of this leg was to:
    • Investigate transition from the Angolan upwelling to the open ocean and from the open ocean to coastal upwelling off Ghana - Côte d’voire;
    • Investigate the northern perimeter of the Angola Dome and Angola Gyre;
    • Determine physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the Equatorial Under Current (EUC) and equatorial upwelling;
    • Investigate the northern transition between the Equatorial Cold Tongue and the westward current system in the central Gulf of Guinea
Survey # 2019 Leg 1

Leg 1. SEAFO Survey (ABNJ)

Period: 24/01/2019 - 24/02/2019  (32 days)
Countries: Angola - Brazil - Namibia - Norway - South Africa - Spain
Objectives of the Surveys:

All the study locations were situated in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), within the Convention Area of the Southeast Atlantic Fisheries Organization (SEAFO).



  • Leg 1.1. ABNJ within the Convention Area of the Southeast Atlantic Fisheries Organization (SEAFO)
    Period: 24 January – 24 February (32 days)
    Port of departure:
    Cape Town (South Africa)
    Port of arrival: Cape Town (South Africa)
    Local participants: 5
    Norwegian scientists: 8

    The objective of this leg was to cover the Discovery Seamount complexes including:
    • Geomorphology, benthic habitats and benthos;
    • Fish resources;
    • Physical, chemical and biological oceanography;
    • Debris (litter on the surface and seabed;
    • Microplastics;
    • Mesopelagic acoustic scattering layers en route
Survey # 2018 Leg 3

Leg 3. Ecosystem Survey (The Bay of Bengal)

Period: 23/06/2018 - 15/10/2018  (109 days)
Countries: Bangladesh - Myanmar - Sri Lanka - Thailand
Objectives of the Surveys:

The surveys (including five legs 3.1 - 3.5) conducted in the Bay of Bengal, with each leg having their specific objectives, had a broad ecosystem approach and aimed at gaining understanding of the ecosystem status in general, and of specific ecosystem components and attributes in particular. Opportunistic sampling addressing pollution was carried out throughout all survey’s legs. Leg 3.2. specifically looked at mesopelagic fish at the ABNJ areas.

  • Leg 3.1. Pelagic and demersal resources survey (Sri Lanka)
    Period: 24 June – 16 July (22 days)
    Port of departure:
    Colombo (Sri Lanka)
    Port of arrival: Colombo (Sri Lanka)
    Local participants: 20
    Norwegian scientists: 10

    The main objective of this leg was to conduct an ecosystem survey with focus on demersal and pelagic living resources on the shelf and slope, from 20 m to >1000 m bottom depth.
  • Leg 3.2. Bay of Bengal ABNJ Survey
    Period: 19 – 31 July (12 days)
    Port of departure: Colombo (Sri Lanka)
    Port of arrival: Chittagong (Bangladesh)
    Local participants: 14
    Norwegian scientists: 8

    The objective of this leg was to:
    • Study the acoustic properties of mesopelagic fish and other mesopelagic organisms such as e.g. salps, medusae and other microzooplankton, including their frequency response and target strength;
    • 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;
    • Collect samples for levels of nutrients and contaminants including microplastics;  to study spread and trends in oxygen concentrations and ocean acidification state
  • Leg 3.3. Pelagic resources survey (Bangladesh)
    Period: 2 – 17 August (15 days)
    Port of departure: Chittagong (Bangladesh)
    Port of arrival: Chittagong (Bangladesh)
    Local participants: 17
    Norwegian scientists: 9

    The objective of the survey in Bangladesh waters was to map and assess the pelagic fish resources on the continental shelf.
  • Leg 3.4. Pelagic resources and egg and larvae survey (Myanmar)
    Period: 24 August – 29 September (33 days)
    Port of departure: Yangon (Myanmar)
    Port of arrival: Kawthuang (Myanmar)
    Local participants: 36
    Norwegian scientists: 18

    The objective of the survey in Myanmar waters was to map and assess the fish resources (pelagic and demersal) on the continental shelf, with a special focus on distribution of mature fish and eggs and larvae in closed areas.
  • Leg 3.5. Deep-sea demersal and mesopelagic resources survey (Thailand)
    Period: 1 – 15 October (14 days)
    Port of departure: Phuket (Thailand)
    Port of arrival: Phuket (Thailand)
    Local participants: 15
    Norwegian scientists: 9

    The objective of the survey in Thailand waters was to cover demersal and mesopelagic resources and habitats at depths greater than 100 m.
Survey # 2018 Leg 2

Leg 2. Indian Ocean (ABNJ and Nazareth Bank)

Period: 04/05/2018 - 22/06/2018  (48 days)
Countries: Mauritius - Seychelles - Sri Lanka
Objectives of the Surveys:

This survey (including two legs 2.1-2.2). The first leg of the research was focused on studying the Mascarene Plateau (Indian Ocean) - the geomorphology, benthic habitats and benthos, map the occurrence of fish and crustacean resources. The research team also looked into its oceanographic conditions, and recorded the occurrence of micro plastics and marine debris. The second leg was carried out to explore the distribution of mesopelagic fish vertically and horizontally, from the higher-oxygen regions of the southern Indian Ocean to the low-oxygen regions of the northern Indian Ocean, between Mauritius and Sri Lanka. This survey studied the effect of the biogeochemical water properties on the distribution of mesopelagic fish, and monitored long-term changes in biogeochemistry since WOCE observations from 1995.

  • Leg 2.1. Mascarene Plateau (Indian Ocean)
    Period: 4 May – 3 June (30 days)
    Port of departure:
    Victoria (Seychelles)
    Port of arrival: Port Louis (Mauritius)
    Local participants: 19
    Norwegian scientists: 9

    The objective of this leg was to:
    • Study the geomorphology, benthic habitats and benthos (multibeam mapping in subareas and along pre-determined transects, habitat and benthos studies emphasising sandy subareas and subareas with macroalgae, seagrass, and coral;
    • Map occurrence of fish and crustacean resources;
    • Study the oceanographic conditions; to record the occurrence of microplastics and marine debris
  • Leg 2.2. Mesopelagic transect
    Period: 5 June – 21 June (16 days)
    Port of departure: Port Louis (Mauritius)
    Port of arrival: Colombo (Sri Lanka)
    Local participants: 14
    Norwegian scientists: 7

    The objective of this leg was to:
    • Explore the distribution of mesopelagic fish vertically and horizontally from the higher-oxygen regions of the southern Indian Ocean to the low-oxygen regions of the northern Indian Ocean;
    • Explore how the biogeochemical water properties are influencing distribution of mesopelagic fish;
    • Observe long-term changes in biogeochemistry since WOCE observations from 1995
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