The fish fauna of the Ross Sea, Antarctica
The RV Nathaniel B. Palmer was used for bottom trawling at depths of 100–1200 m during two recent cruises in the south-western Ross Sea. Although only 10 of 20 trawls were completely successful, a diverse collection of 979 specimens was obtained representing 47 species (36 notothenioids and 11 nonnotothenioids) and eight families. The collection included four new species, a new colour morph of a known species and eight rare species. The collection also established four new locality records, three second occurrences, three most southerly records and eleven new depth records for fish in the Ross Sea. Good taxonomic coverage for some groups was indicated by collection of all four species of Artedidraco, nine of ten bathydraconids and seven of eight channichthyids occurring in East Antarctica. The most abundant species were Trematomus scotti (29.7%), Bathydraco marri (10.4%), Trematomus eulepidotus (8.7%) and Dolloidraco longedorsalis (6.1%). Fish biomass was determined at two stations. The fish fauna of the Ross Sea south of the 1000-m isobath includes at least 80 species – 54 notothenioids and 26 non-notothenioids, approximately the same number as the Weddell Sea. Species diversity (H′ = 1.88) was higher than both the Weddell Sea and boreal regions. This collection indicates that, even in relatively shallow water, knowledge of specific and intraspecific diversity in the Ross Sea fauna is incomplete.(Received November 11 1998)
(Accepted March 2 1999)
Key Words: Antarctica; bottom trawl; fish fauna; Notothenioidei; Ross Sea.