Pleuragramma antarcticum is the dominant pelagic fish in the waters of the continental shelf in high Antarctic regions, where it plays a key role in the food web. A nursery ground for eggs of this species was first identified in 2002 in Terra Nova Bay (Ross Sea), where eggs were found trapped in ice platelets under the sea-ice during the spring. As part of a monitoring program aimed at understanding the geographic and temporal characteristics of this nursery ground, the present study reports on surveys carried out in the austral springs of 2005 and 2006 using a simple and effective method for sampling from the sea-ice. These surveys enabled the evaluation of the spatial range of the nursery area of the Antarctic silverfish in the sea-ice of the coastal area of Victoria Land between the Coulman Island and the Drygalski Glacier Tongue. P. antarcticum eggs were concentrated in an area of Terra Nova Bay of about 270 km 2, encompassing two adjacent sites, Gerlache Inlet and Silverfish Bay. The present results add information on life cycle and hatching period of the Antarctic silverfish and confirm the importance of the Terra Nova Bay as a nursery area for this important species. Moreover, the survey points to the sea-ice cover and platelet ice as important environmental features of the nursery area.
- Platelet ice
- Pleuragramma antarcticum
- Terra Nova Bay
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)