Eastern Arctic and Subarctic Sponge Identification - DFO Multispecies Trawl Surveys (2010-2014, 2017 and 2019)
Sponges (phylum Porifera) are benthic filter feeding animals that play an important role in nutrient cycling and habitat provision in the deep sea. However, despite these key functional roles, sponge communities in Arctic marine environments are still poorly known. Sponges were collected between 2010-2014, in 2017 and in 2019 during annual multispecies trawl surveys conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Baffin Bay, Davis Strait and portions of Hudson Strait. They were taxonomically examined under a microscope and it resulted in a dataset of approximately 2700 sponge specimens identified, comprising ~100 known sponge taxa. Sponges from various poescilosclerid families are described in this technical report series. For each species presented in these reports, a physical description, a discussion of their distinguishing characteristics, the dimensions and descriptions of their spicules, photos of the sponge and spicules, a map of the sampling locations, and taxonomic remarks are included. The present data package includes links to all these arctic sponge technical reports alongside the datasets of all specimens supporting the taxonomic description process.