Deep arctic sponge aggregations

Several species of glass sponge are found in relatively high colony densities in deep cold (<2°C) waters. One of the most common species of glass sponge in the Norwegian Sea is Caulophacus arcticus, which is generally found on hard bottom on the lower part of the continental slope.

The glass sponge Caulophacus arcticus is common in deep waters in the Norwegian Sea. Here it has been photographed approximately 1,900 meters off Vesterålen. Image: MAREANO/IMR.

The demospongian species Chondrocladia gigantea and Cladorhiza sp. are found in cold Arctic waters in the Nordic Seas, normally in low densities. However, north of Iceland, they occur in greater abundances.

These peculiar shaped carnivorous sponges of the desmospongia Chondrocladia gigatnea are found on the Kolbeinsey ridge, off northern Iceland. Image: MFRI.