Research on Laminaria digitata grounds

María Maack, Karl Gunnarsson, Erlendur Bogason, Þorkell Kristófersson
María Maack, Karl Gunnarsson, Erlendur Bogason, Þorkell Kristófersson
1 of 4

Karl Gunnarsson did his PhD research on kelp in Breiðafjörður in the 1980's (see Journal of the marine research institute Reykjavik, vol XII No. 1, 1991). His analysis and conclusions have been used as a reference frame for Thorverks harvest efforts and methods since then. It is believed that the harvesting equipment plays a strong role in selecting the mature stipes for harvesting yet leaving the bottom in a good condition. 

Now some of his former research patches were revisited and similar measurements conducted. The goal is to verify the conditions of the kelp patches and base further harvesting on the findings. Six samples were taken from each kelp-patch, the kelp individuals were weighed, the stipelength was measured and the annual rings (age) read for each of approx 250 samples. Karl has been conducting a biomass- estimation research program since 2016 mostly for Ascophyllum nodosum, Laminaria digitata and Laminaria hyperborea off the North coast of Iceland. 

Karl is a trained research diver as well and has been working with macro-algea for over 40 years. It is therefore an honor for Thorverk to facilitate the L digitata research effort this year.   

Two assistents were Erlendur Bogason and Þorgeir Kristófersson. Erlendur is known from his diving experience in Eyjafjörður and tours to the geothermal hot spots in the sea. Þorgeir owns the boat Skeley and has been scanning ocean bottoms and seashells. 

This long due research was partially funded by the EC-Eureka project 1288 Veggy coats, and administrated through RANNÍS