Coastal ecosystems with and without lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The salmon farming industry is heavily plagued by the parasitic sea lice and an alternative to chemotherapeutants are cleaner fish. The lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) is one of them. It is native to the region of the Faroe Islands and is easily farmed, but it does not fare too well in the pens designed for salmon.
To better be able to understand the lumpfish needs, we need to know more about its natural environment.
This study tries to get an overview of which type of sea floor the lumpfish lives in, what kind of animals live there, and which type of seaweed grows there.
Samples were taken in 16 different locations, only during low tide. In waders, seaweed was pulled and put into a white tub, shaken down to collect all living things on the seaweed, emptied and filled again continuously for 30 minutes. If there were any lumpfish present, they were counted and measured. Animals and seaweed types were documented, and water temperature,pH and salinity were measured. Associations between lumpfish and seaweed and other animal species were investigated using chi squared tests. Additionally, logistic regressions were used to investigate the effects of temperature, season and salinity on the presence of lumpfish
The results showed, that the lumpfish are found in a rocky environment which contains a diverse seaweed and animal community. They like cold waters, high salinity and a rocky sea floor. As small hatchlings during summer and autumn, they are found in the presence of wrack, and later move on the bigger kelp such as sugar kelp and oarweed.
Date of Award2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Náttúruvísindadeildin - Faculty of Science and Technology
SupervisorEyðfinn Magnussen (Supervisor)

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