SA Agulhas II Scientific Winter Voyage
16 July 2015
The Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA) SA Agulhas II will embark on a winter research expedition on Monday 20 July 2015, at the East Pier quay V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
DEA in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the National Research Foundation (NRF) and Council for Scientific Industrial and Research (CSIR) will embark on a winter research voyage.
This voyage provides a unique opportunity to map large-scale spatial patterns of phyto and zooplankton using the Continuous Plankton Recorder between the ice edge and Cape Town during winter. The data obtained from this cruise, along with data obtained from other seasons, will contribute towards a more detailed description and understanding of spatial, seasonal, inter-annual and multi-decadal changes in community structure as well as abundance and distribution of plankton in the Southern Ocean.
This voyage is particularly important as it will highlight changes in the abundance, distribution and diversity of plankton communities in the Atlantic and Indian sectors of the Southern Oceans to the South of Africa, have generally not been studied in much detail, particularly in winter.
South Africa is the continent closest country to Antarctica, which lies 4200km south of the country, it is also the only African nation with a foothold in Antarctica. The country therefore bears the responsibility to serve as a channel for broader African research in the Antarctic region.
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