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JNAFS

01

Erlingur Hauksson and Valur Bogason

Marine Research Institute, Skúlagata 4, 121 Reykjavík, Iceland

Source - Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science, Volume 22: 47-54
ISSN-0250-6408

Abstract

New findings are presented about the occurrence of hooded seals (Cystophora cristata), harp seals (Phoca groenlandica), bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) and ringed seals (Phoca hispida) in Icelandic waters for 1989-94. These animals had been entangled in gill nets for lumpsuckers (Cyclopterus lumpus) and cod (Gadus morhua), shot by local hunters, or found dead on the shore. The majority of the animals were from the north coast of Iceland, during the spring and summer.

The majority of the hooded seals, were pups and one-year-olds, although older animals occurred frequently. Males were significantly more abundant in the catch than females. Young seals, pups and one-year-olds, dominated in the catch of harp seals. Males were not significantly more abundant than females.

During the period 1989-94, there seemed to have been an increase in the frequency of visits of hooded and harp seals to Icelandic waters, and they seemed to be more numerous off the north coast than about a decade ago. However, they are probably not as numerous now as in earlier times, especially in years of heavy land-ice and polar-ice in the 18th and 19th century.

Ringed seals were mainly caught during the spring and early summer, while most of the bearded seals were caught in winter. The majority of the bearded seals visiting the Icelandic coast were young immature animals, while the ringed seals were sub-adults and adults.

Language - English Publisher - Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), Dartmouth, N.S., Canada
Publication Date - December 1997
Publication Type - Journal Article Citation
Posted in: Volume 22 - 1997
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