Polar cod of the full moon

By Mor­gan Ben­der, Jan 25th 2014

fullmoonHH

Under a full moon in the midst of the polar night, I watch as ice­bergs from Kongs­breen dance around the float­ing buoys of our last bot­tom trawl for live polar cod. The result was mag­i­cal as much as planned and cal­cu­lat­ed.

Now three full tanks of Sval­bar­dian polar cod are slow­ly steam­ing aboard FF Helmer Hanssen to their new home in Trom­sø. Col­lec­tion in Ripfjor­den, Bille­fjor­den, and Kongs­fjor­den aboard the polar night cruise from Jan­u­ary 5th to Jan 20th was suc­cess­ful. Trans­port to Trom­sø has thus far been a gen­tle jour­ney; the sunrise/set on Bjørnøya was a wel­come sign of our south­ern progress.  How­ev­er, polar cod do not seem to enjoy the boat life of five o´clock cake and beau­ti­ful views as much as I do, so it will be nice to see them set­tled and curve the mor­tal­i­ty that is threat­en­ing future polar cod projects (my own Mas­ters includ­ed).

Polarcod

Most of the cod are ripe and ready spawn, I have my fin­gers crossed that they can wait a few more days until we reach Trom­sø. It is quite impres­sive to see how much of their body cav­i­ties are ded­i­cat­ed to gonads, mak­ing them look like pot-bel­lied baby sharks cruis­ing around the tank. Per­haps too much time with fish has let my imag­i­na­tion wan­der…

birds&Bjørnøya

In any case, be pre­pared to wel­come hun­dreds (per­haps tens of hun­dreds) of polar cod to the POLARISATION team ear­ly Mon­day morn­ing when the FF Helmer Hanssen steams into the kai.

 

 

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