About us

The Marine Research and Education Fund of Andenes (MAREFA) is a non-profit organization established by 4 young researchers and a sea man in December 2011. We are based in Andenes, a small town of less than 3000 inhabitants situated in the northernmost point of the Island of Andøya, in the Vesterålen archipelago in Northern Norway (Fig 1). This picturesque town is at 69°19′N 16°08′E, 300 km north of the Arctic Circle. On the east coast the island is surrounded by the waters of Andfjord that separates it from Island of Senja, the second largest island in Norway. On the west, it is the open Atlantic Ocean.

Situation of Andenes, in Norway

Figure 1: Situation of Andenes, in Norway

We conduct our research in waters around Andenes, which are divided into 2 main study areas, the Bleik Canyon on the west side of the Island and Anfjord waters (Fig 2). The Bleik Canyon is a very productive area due to its bathymetry, reaching over 2500m in depth. In both the canyon and the fjord, all year round several species of cetacean can be found. We conduct most of our research projects on sperm whales; however other species are also being studied such as humpback and killer whales.

Figure 2: Study area in detail

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Our Projects