Færøerne Kick-off tur DTU Aqua North Atlantic Marine Research collaboration

​ North Atlantic Marine Research Projects kick-off in Torshavn

Friday 11 Mar 22

Contact

Brian MacKenzie
Professor
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 45

Contact

Sigrun Jonasdottir
Senior Researcher
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 27

Contact

Andre Visser
Professor
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 25

Contact

Karen Edelvang
Head of section
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 06

BlueOcean, led by DTU Aqua, is one of four projects receiving funding from The Marine Research Programme of the North Atlantic Ocean and involving DTU Aqua. Beginning of March, researchers came to Tórshavn from Greenland, The Fareo Islands and Denmark to kick off the new marine co-research projects.

DTU Aqua is involved in two of four new research projects in the North Atlantic that have been awarded 14 mio. DKK in funding from The Marine Research in the North Atlantic Ocean Programme.

Senior researcher Sigrun Jonasdottir, Professor Brian MacKenzie, Professor Andy Visser, and Head of Section Karen Edelvang from DTU Aqua went to Tórshavn, the Fareo Islands, last week to join the research kick-off together with around 30 research colleagues from Greenland and The Faroe Islands and members of the funding committee.

The projects are called COPS, TOPLINK, FjordProcess and BlueOcean, and they focus on zooplankton, marine top predators, Faroese fjords and blue whiting. The BlueOcean project is led by Brian MacKenzie from DTU Aqua:

“I recently found out we have received funding for the new project about blue whiting ecology and fisheries near the Faroe Islands. Absolutely thrilled :-) to be able to work with colleagues Andy Visser, DTU Aqua, Hjalmar Hatun and Jan Arge Jacobsen, both from Faroes Marine Research Institute on this topic,” Brian MacKenzie writes on his Linkedin.

Research focuses
At the kick-off meeting in Tórshavn, the project leaders each gave a presentation on their project, and the participants discussed cooperation potentials between the projects.

"In the section for Oceans and Arctic we have been working on creating more collaboration opportunities with our colleagues from the Faroe Islands and also Greenland."
Head of Section karen Edelvang

In a cooperation between DTU Aqua and Faroe Marine Research Institute, the BlueOcean project will examine how ocean-climate conditions affect blue whiting recruitment and distribution. A PhD position is currently under evaluation to start early summer.

The COPS project is also directly involving DTU Aqua in a cooperation with Faroe Marine Research Institute and University of Strathclyde. COPS will focus on the dynamics of Calanus species linked to oceanographic processes, predators and carbon sequestration.

Here DTU Aqua’s role is to look at the fate of the copepods transported through the Faroe-Shetland Channel from the cold and deep Arctic waters flowing southward into the North Atlantic. Focus is on whether copepods are eaten by the local fish around the Faroe Islands or if they sink deep into the ocean and here impact the content of oxygen in the deeper ocean layers.

Strengthening the marine research cooperation in the North
The awarded projects include 2 PhD projects and 2 Postdoc projects with partners from institutions in Greenland, Faroe Islands and Denmark, in addition to Norway and Scotland

The North Atlantic Ocean Programme aims to strengthen the cooperation between Greenland, Faroe Islands and Denmark on marine research in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Programme Committee emphasized the intention of strengthening cooperation through PhD and Postdoc projects with research stays in other countries.

In the section for Oceans and Arctic we have been working on creating more collaboration opportunities with our colleagues from the Faroe Islands and also Greenland. Therefore, we celebrate this opportunity to dive deeper into the North Atlantic Ocean research,” says Karen Edelvang.

During the visit to the Faroe Islands, the upcoming research collaborators were also inspired through trips to see Bakkafrost, the leading salmon farming company in the Faroe Islands, and the Aquaculture Research Station of the Faroe Islands.

The participants also visited the new Faroese research vessel Jákup Sverri and the even newer Greenlandish research vessel Tarajoq which is in port in the Faroes at the moment.

First grants and next call coming up in June 2022

The Marine Research Programme of the North Atlantic Ocean is financed by the Danish government. The funding for the four North Atlantic marine projects are the first grants awarded through this strategic programme for which the Danish government has allocated funds in the Danish Finance Act in the period 2020-2023.

The Programme Committee has decided that the remaining funds, approximately 8 million DKK, will be available for the next round of applications with deadline in June 2022.

The funded projects

BlueOcean - Blue whiting recruitment, distribution and Ocean-climate processes in the north Atlantic Ridge area
Brian MacKenzie, Project leader. Cooperation between DTU Aqua and Faroe Marine Research Institute
Funding: 3.998.000 kr.

TOPLINK - Marine top predators as ecosystem indicators in the central North Atlantic
Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen, Project leader. Cooperation between Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Faroe Marine Research Institute and University of Copenhagen
Funding: 3.973.000

COPS - Dynamics of Calanus species linked to Oceanographic processes, Predators and Carbon Sequestration
Eilif Gaard, Project leader. Cooperation between Faroe Marine Research Institute, DTU-Aqua and University of Strathclyde
Funding: 2.366.250

FjordProcess - Key processes governing pelagic productivity in sub-arctic North Atlantic fjord ecosystems
Eydna í Homrum, Project leader. Cooperation between Faroe Marine Research Institute, Aquaculture Research Station of the Faroe Islands, Aarhus University and Institute of Marine Research in Bergen
Funding: 3.699.024

Photo from the Faroe Islands: Ole Humlum

Below: The team: Senior researcher Sigrun Jonasdottir, Professor Brian MacKenzie, Professor Andy Visser, and Head of Section Karen Edelvang from DTU Aqua

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