Hydroacoustic data were collected to study the distribution and abundance of Antarctic krill relative to their predators in the Southern Ocean during annual logistic summer trips and dedicated research winter trips to Antarctica on board the South African RV SA Agulhas II. The 38, 120 and 200 kHz transducers mounted on the drop keel of the research vessel were used to collect acoustic data; where the first year (2014) of the study logged acoustic data during daytime only whilst surveys in later years (2015-2016) logged data all day long. Target sampling was conducted using the Methot ichthyoplankton net, zooplankton nets and buckets. Preliminary results from those surveys are summarised herein. Collections of acoustic data from dedicated and opportunistic surveys for this work indicate that the RV SA Agulhas II can be effectively utilised for acoustic research. Furthermore, this vessel provides allowance for other essential concurrent research including oceanographic sampling and top predator observations.
Mr Sobahle Somhlaba (South Africa)
Mr Johan de Goede (South Africa)