Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment (BREA) Marine Fishes Project - Benthic habitat data collected from the Canadian Beaufort Sea 2013
Ship: CCGS Amundsen CA
Principal Investigator: Jim Reist
Start Date: 01-08-2013
End Date: 12-09-2013
Citation: Unpublished data
Abstract: The 2013 cruise was split into two legs. Leg 1 samples were collected from six transects: Cape Parry (cpy), Bennett Point (bpt), Darnley Bay (dar), Ulukhaktok (ulu), Cape Bathurst, and the esc transect running from Nearshore from Cape Bathurst to offshore of Tuktoyaktuk. A total of 35 stations ranging from from 20-750m were sampled. Leg two consisted of four transects: Garry (gry), Transboundary (tbs), A1 (a transect in U.S. waters), and a deepwater transect (dwt). A total of 23 stations were sampled ranging from 40m to 1500m depth. Epifauna: A beam trawl and a western otter trawl were used to collect epibenthic organisms. At the deepest stations, 750m, 1000m, 1200m and 1500m only the otter trawl was used to sample. Samples were washed with seawater in a 2mm mesh sieve. Organisms were identified to the lowest taxonomical level possible, counted and weighted. When taxonomic identification was uncertain, specimens were preserved using 10% formalin or frozen at -20ºC for further identification. Organisms identified on board were transferred to the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment's (BREA) collaborators for fatty acids, contaminants and stable isotope analysis. Infauna and sediment analyses: Marine sediments were collected using a 50 x 50 cm box corer. Cores were divided into two sections of approximately equal area (~ 0.125m²). Half-core was used for infauna characterization (diversity, abundance and biomass) and sampled in a stratified fashion (0-5cm, 5cm-clay layer), and sediment were washed in a 500 micron mesh sieve. The remaining sample material was preserved in 10% buffered formalin for later taxonomic analysis. Note that for Leg 1, full stations were sampled (i.e. CTD/rosette, MultiNet plankton sampler and bongos, box core, benthic beam and Western 2A otter trawls), For Leg 2, box coring was only conducted at the 75m, 350m, and 750m stations. Chlorophyll (Chl) a, organic matter content and sediment granulometry were sampled in the same half-core by sub-coring with a 60cc truncated syringes. The Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment (BREA) is a multi-disciplinary study whose objective is to have better knowledge of the composition of fish communities and their habitats in the offshore water of the Canadian Beaufort Sea. The benthic objectives of this program were: 1) To quantify regional gradients (inshore-offshore, East-West) in epibenthic and endobenthic organisms (abundance, biomass and diversity); 2) To characterize the bottom substrate of each sampled stations as key habitat features for benthic marine fishes (organic matter content and sediment grain size); and 3) To measure benthic chlorophyll a content as a proxy for benthic primary production.