Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | March 31, 2013

Ice fishing and listening

January has turned into February and ice has formed over a great area. It is now impossible to get the hydrophone in the water at Qaqqaliaq  ( The permanent recording  equipment  from last year is demounted ) The option for following the development in bowhead singing behaviour is now to walk out on the sea ice and drill or hack  a hole  for the hydrophone.

After slow start, a routine has now been established.

Joining two part time fishermen  when going to the ice gives the opportunity to feel safe and a having  company when recording is going on. Besides the creatures (fish and sharks ) pulled up  from the sea is interesting. On the pictures you see the fishermen and  some of the catch: wolffish and shark. A total of 4 sharks where caught over a period of a week. Average size 3.4 meter.

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Greenland shark Microcephalus somniosus (note the green glove for size estimate)

Greenland shark Microcephalus somniosus (note the green glove for size estimate). Photo: M. Christoffersen

Spotted wolffish instantly frozen at arrival to the surface. Water temperature -2 C and surafce temperature - 21 C, with windchill factor -35 C. Bloody cold. Photo: M. Christoffersen

Spotted wolffish instantly frozen at arrival to the surface. Water temperature -2 C and surface temperature – 21 C, with windchill factor -35 C. Bloody cold. Photo: M. Christoffersen

When lines a back in the hole this is a convenient place to submerge the hydrophone and from 10 of February bowheads were heard  on every listening session.

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