Coral by-catch in shrimp bottom trawl surveys in West Greenland waters (2010 – 2012)

Helle Jørgensbye, Nanette Hammeken Arboe

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearch


There have been zoological expeditions in Greenland waters since the 19th century documenting the sea life, including cold water corals. Coral trees (vernacular name for Paragorgia arborea) are mentioned as early as 1741 in the first natural history book about Greenland (Egede 1741). Due to the many expeditions and opportunistic collections by Greenlandic fisheries surveys, the species composition of West Greenlandic corals is fairly well known (Tendal and Heiner 2002), although observations of species new to Greenland are still being made (Jørgensen et al. 2013, Tendal et al. 2013). The earlier collections of
corals were not systematic and distribution patterns are poorly understood. Thus, more recently the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources started to collect cold water corals in a more systematic way to document the occurrence of corals in the bottom trawls made for the annual shrimp stock assessments. A total of 628 hauls were conducted covering an area of 17.1 km2. Sixty-six hauls contained corals and of these 13 hauls had two or more species of corals. Only two hauls contained more than one kilo of coral, which were in each case
comprised of one only species. The identification of the corals is based on Kenchington et al. (2009). The identification of many specimens has further been verified by Ole Tendal (Zoological Museum, Copenhagen) on the basis of frozen samples. Few corals, mainly soft corals (Alcyonacea) and sea pens (Pennatulacea), were found in the depth range within which shrimp are fished. This first analysis suggests that dense fields of Sea Pens and patches of octocorals occur in the depth range and within the area covered by the shrimp fishery
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventICES Symposium 2014: Effects of fishing on benthic fauna, habitat and ecosystem function - Tromsø, Norway
Duration: 16 Jun 201419 Jun 2014


ConferenceICES Symposium 2014


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