Christian Hein Cassard, Masters student

Thesis title: “A dive into fish migrations, energy budget for the North-east Artic cod during migration”.

The great animal migrations, around the world, have been subject to wonder and excitement from the wildebeest traversing the savanna numbering near the millions, to the lonesome humpback whale travelling the ocean to their nursing grounds near equator. However, migrations have evolved based on the necessity for survival. Many animals migrate between spawning, nursing, and feeding grounds to maximize their individual fitness and ensure their offspring the best possible start. It is hypothesised that for migration to evolve, the fitness from migrating must be greater compared to residing in the original habitat. Thus, the energy must be sufficient to cover the increased expenses linked with migration; osmotic costs, energy and time lost and increased predation risk.

This thesis will investigate the behavioural ecology of long-distance migrating fish, the North-east arctic cod “Skrei”, and try to elucidate the challenges of migration from a physiological perspective using the field metabolic rate. The energetic expenses of Skrei linked with the migration from the Barents Sea to Lofoten will be compared to the energy expenses linked with the sedentary behaviour of coastal cod from Lofoten.