Abundant diversity of marine life…

Innlegg publisert 31. mars 2018

When visiting under, you will have the chance to discover the rich diversity of marine life found in the immediate area.

“It´s incredibly exciting that we will be able to give the guests a unique insight into the underwater marine life surrounding the restaurant” says biologist Trond Rafoss.  

He, as well as the rest of the marine biology research team affiliated with under, are doing what they can to make the subsea experience as authentic and interesting as possible.  

“We are working in harmony with Mother Nature, but the ocean is unpredictable. Fortunately, however, there are techniques we can use, which will help us showcase as many of the species found in the local area, as possible”.


Light attracts fish…
According to Rafoss, his research colleague Kim Halvorsen, who recently got his PhD- in the study of Lip Fish, discovered that the fish respond to both sound and light.  

During his research he found that zooplankton, which are small organisms drifting in the ocean, often eaten by fish, are attracted to light. While the plankton swirled around in the illuminated area of the sea, the fish gradually equated the light as a place where they could find food.  

“Thus, by adding light to the area around the submerged restaurant, we can attract fish. In addition, the light will make observing the marine life at night, easier for the guests”, says Rafoss.


Significant diversity
Rafoss believes the restaurant is located in a perfect place, also from a marine biological standpoint.  

“There are so many species living here – the diversity is quite extraordinary. This is due to the fact that this is the area where water from the less salty Baltic Sea, meets the salty Atlantic Ocean. The result is a diversity of species, consisting of those who thrive in partly brackish water, and those who prefer saltier conditions”, continues Rafoss.  

Although the Lindesnes area offers great conditions for many species, unpredictable Mother Nature has her twists and turns. Therefore, the researchers work tirelessly to find solutions that will improve Mother Nature´s magnificent blueprint. 

- For example, by putting out underwater rope, we can create new environments for shells to grow.  

Shells have a unique ability to make the water clearer, since they filter it when finding food.  The water becomes clearer when microalgae and zooplankton is eaten by mussels.  

“Shells will be an important ingredient in the kitchen, which is another reason why we should facilitate great conditions for growth”, says Rafoss


Teaming up with Mother Nature…
The marine biology team are also planning on providing more structure to parts of the seabed, by for example, adding more rocks in certain areas. In doing so, they increase the environment for organisms growing on rocks, which in turn provide food and shelter for many other species.  

“We are also currently working on how we can assist in improving the conditions for the bettered growth of underwater plants, such as common eelgrass.  It is mesmerizing to observe the kelp-forest move with the waves, and amazing to see them change their color scheme from brown to red and green”, he says.  

Rafoss believes that the guests will be intrigued and fascinated by the diverse marine life around the restaurant.  

“One other fun fact is that there is also a brief season of the year when sharks can be found in the area. They are not large in size, but they are bountiful in number. We are working to find a way we can attract them to swim close to the restaurant window as well”, he concludes.

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