As the German contribution to the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics Study (SO GLOBEC), RV Polarstern visited the Eastern Bellingshausen Sea between 18 April and 1 May 2001. This paper examines in situ feeding cycles, ingestion rates and growth of larval krill Euphausia superba. Larval krill were exceptionally numerous, especially over the shelf break and continental slope: mean 8872 larvae m(-2), maximum 30 084 larvae m-2. The developmental stage composition of krill larvae over the shelf was advanced compared to that at continental slope stations, which may have resulted from enhanced food availability over the shelf. Despite the season being late autumn, the feeding activity of larval krill was similar to published summer rates. The intermoult period of larval krill ranged from 6 to 17 days, with daily growth rates reaching 2.2% of body length, 8.7% of body wet mass and 5.7% of body carbon. Daily ingestion rates were 8.5-17.6 mug C ind(-1) d(-1) for calyptopis 3 to furcilia 2 and 35.1-57.4 mug C ind(-1) d(-1) for furcilia 3-5, and were positively correlated with ambient chlorophyll a concentrations. Daily rations showed the same tendency, ranging from 21.5 to 44.5% of body Cd-1 (catyptopis 3 to furcilia 2) and from 17.8 to 29.2% of body Cd-1 (furcilia 3-5). Comparison of daily rations between open water and sea ice stations supports the notion that larval krill at low pelagic food supply under the sea ice have to exploit ice biota to sustain their metabolic demands. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The financial instability in US and European markets is helping to drive down prices of fats and oils, with bakers urged to start shopping around for deals.Consultant Eccleso’s monthly market report on edible oils reveals prices have dropped by up to 20% since January, helped by falling mineral oil prices, which have a knock-on effect on vegetable oils, and general falls in market values.According to Eccleso, crude palm oil prices have fallen from €950 in January to around €740 earlier this month, while sunflower oil has fallen from €1,100 to around €900. Soyabean and rapeseed oil saw declines of 13% and 20% respectively.“Since 2003-4, there have been some heavyweight moves by hedge funds and speculators into commodities, which are therefore much less linked to what is happening with harvests and crops than they used to be. At present the markets are being led by fear and are behaving with a herd instinct, which is driving prices down both in crude oil and edible oils,” said Eccleso’s MD Gordon Kirkwood.“Big industrial bakers will negotiate directly with manufacturers, but smaller bakers don’t have a great deal of leverage. Some of their suppliers may have bought a contract earlier in the year to cover their requirements for 12 months, so it will be some time before they can take advantage of lower prices. For bakers, it is worth shopping around to see if they can get better deals.”BFP Wholesale MD Nick Harris said that pricing was being affected by currency exchange rate fluctuations. “The euro was €1.21 to the pound at the start of the year, but fell to around €1.08 and is now around €1.15. We’ve seen prices rise, although there has been some easing in recent weeks. It’s too early to say if and when that will feed through.”