Ecosystem overviews

Icelandic Waters

State: Seabirds

​Around 30–50 million seabirds, consisting of 22 species, are found within the ecoregion. Substantial proportions of the total North Atlantic populations of some species are found there. Annual food consumption of six common seabird species has been estimated at 171 000 tonnes of capelin, 184 000 tonnes of sandeel and 34 000 tonnes of euphausiids.

The abundance of breeding Brünnich's guillemot, common guillemot (murre), razorbill, Northern fulmar, and kittiwake have declined between 1985 and 2008 by 43%, 30%, 18%, 35%, and 12%, respectively. The number of kittiwakes and European shags breeding in western Iceland declined by 44% and 31%, respectively between 1993 and 2007, representing an annual rate of decline of 5.7% for kittiwakes. Reduced prey availability has been suggested as the main cause for their decline. Four other species have either shown recent decline or no change.

Data on the remaining eleven species is limited. Amongst those, puffin populations have decreased south and west of Iceland over the last decade, presumably also because of reduced availability of prey, especially sandeel. 

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Icelandic Waters

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