The MESOPP kick-off and first workshop took place this month in Hobart (Tasmania, Australia). This was the occasion for each partner to show its part of the overall project, and for CLS as project lead to put every piece of the puzzle in place and the project in perspective.
Micronekton (small (~1-20 cm or g) fishes, krill and other small crustaceans and squids) is the missing link to understand behaviour and dynamics of large predators – whales, elephant seals, penguins, albatrosses… Moreover, some of this micronekton is already exploited (krill) or show some promise for the “blue economy”. Last but not least, recent studies suggest that migrant micronekton could have an important role in the transfert of atmospheric CO2 (including anthropogenic) in the deep ocean. And about 40% of the global ocean take-up of anthropogenic carbon dioxide is made below 40 degrees South.
This leads to the conclusion that biomass estimates and models are needed, particularly in the Southern Ocean, which is the main goal of MESOPP: to improve micronekton and acoustic measurements.