Story: Open ocean

A salp chain

A salp chain

Salps appear in vast numbers in late spring in the waters around New Zealand. They feed on the abundant phytoplankton available at this time, and grow rapidly. Swarms of salps may dominate the upper 200 metres of the ocean. Often individuals join together in chains up to 10 metres long. Salps form an important part of the diet of many deep-sea and coastal fish species such as kahawai and hoki, and are also feasted on by seabirds.

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How to cite this page:

Janet Grieve, 'Open ocean - Larger plankton in the food chain', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 February 2023)

Story by Janet Grieve, published 12 Jun 2006