Antarctic krill aggregation characteristics from acoustic observations in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean
The distributional features and physical characteristics of 4830 krill (Euphausia superba Dana) aggregations detected acoustically in the Southwest Atlantic between 26 January and 21 February 1981 are described. Results are compared with aggregations detected in the Indian Ocean. Aggregations in the Atlantic were larger, closer to the surface and to each other than in the Indian Ocean. Similar patterns in the distribution of aggregation spacing along survey transects were found in the two areas, although the pattern of spacings in the Atlantic indicates differences in the scale of aggregation. Serial interdependence of aggregation variables was minimal in the Atlantic, with aggregation thickness, length and spacing showing weak inter-relationships. Weak functional association, between water depth and aggregation thickness was evident. Investigation of variability in aggregation structure in relation to prevailing environmental conditions gave equivocal results and no clear association between any aggregation variable and prevailing hydrography was observed. The implications of these results for future studies on krill aggregation are discussed in relation to a conceptual framework which was developed from the present results and aimed at linking krill aggregation characteristics to environmental features.
Authors: Miller, D.G.M., Barange, M., Klindt, H., Murray, A.W.A., Hampton, I., Siegel, V.