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from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Sustainable Seas Expeditions,
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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
SSE Accomplishments Report

Exploration of a deep reef by DeepWorker in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The approach to the Sustainable Seas Expeditions at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, has been to complement and build upon existing research and to work in partnership with scientists who have expertise in the deep sea and with remotely operated vehicles and other submersibles. The DeepWorker will be a valuable resource for characterizing habitats and developing monitoring programs, and the sanctuary selected research projects to take a advantage of those strengths.

Dr. Chris Harrold checks communications prior to a dive.

One project prepared for this year's missions was furthering an existing prickly shark research program by using the DeepWorker to conduct visual transects at the heads of several major canyons in the sanctuary to estimate the distribution and relative abundance of prickly and other large sharks. Another project planned to observe day-night migrations of small invertebrates, with a focus on gelatinous zooplankton. A third study was to help local efforts to make seasonal comparisons of deep water habitats and fishes in the Big Creek Ecological Reserve. The Big Creek Marine Reserve Project was also the subject of a successful student summit education project during the Expeditions. Specifically, Mike Guardino, the Teacher in the Sea, successfully conducted a deep water survey in Carmel Bay from DeepWorker. This was an extension of shallow water scuba surveys he is conducting with students.

Dr. Steve Webster gathers an image during a DeepWorker dive.

Unfortunately, inclement weather and technical and operational difficulties limited the amount of research on the projects during the first Sustainable Seas Expeditions visit to the sanctuary. However, by logging practice dives in the DeepWorker, honing their piloting skills, and initiating collaborations and planning, scientists have created a solid foundation for future visits.

 

 

The DeepWorker in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

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