Northeast Atlantic Shelf Marine

About the Area

The Northeast Atlantic Shelf consists of many different marine environments. It is quite shallow and fed by several rivers, while the Norwegian Sea has deep trenches filled by particularly salty ocean water.
In upwelling areas, nutrient-rich water rises to the surface and provides the basis for many fish communities. These ocean currents make the seas quite rough and often contribute to strong storms.

Local Species
This ecoregion is home to the Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus), Harbour seal (Phoca vitulina), Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica), Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), Porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus), Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), and Capelin (Mallotus villosus).

Several species of whales are found in this productive region, including Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), Killer whale (Orcinus orca), Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), Narwhal (Monodon monoceros), Bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), Northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus), and the Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus).

Threats
Over fishing and pollution pose the greatest threats to this region.

Resources

Size:
N/A

Habitat type:
Temperate Shelf and Seas

Geographic Location:
North Atlantic Ocean

Conservation Status:
Critical/Endangered

Quiz Time!

What is so peculiar about the Narwhal?

Answer:
The narwhal, while smaller than most other whales, has a tooth that can grow into a spiral tusk almost 9 feet (3 m) long. During the Middle Ages, the narwhal's tusk may have inspired tales of unicorns.

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