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Flower Garden Banks underwater photo
Mission notebook

Mission Log March 9, 2007

by Emma Hickerson
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
Research Coordinator

Hammerhead Shark
Yesterday, we transferred personnel between the SSV Chouest and the MV Spree.  This enabled researchers from the Spree to participate in the Immersion Presents broadcasts and personnel from the Chouest to do a couple of SCUBA dives on the reef cap of the Flower Garden Banks. 

Today, we transferred two people from the MV Spree onto an oil production platform to catch a ride on a helicopter back to land.

Rachel Graham downloaded data from the acoustic receiver at East Flower Garden Bank.  The data showed that the manta first recorded at Stetson Bank has also visited East and West Flower Garden Banks!  That information supports our theory that all of the banks in the region are connected to each other and that events on any one bank can influence the status of the other banks in the system.

The monitoring team noted active coral disease, confirming presence of a winter disease outbreak for this year, much like previous years.

Divers obtained video of a Nassau grouper, only the second time this species has been documented in the sanctuary.

Hammerhead Shark
Other observations:  schooling Mobula rays, spotted eagle rays, hammerhead and tiger sharks.  No conch were located today.

We'll be at East Flower Garden Bank the remainder of today and will head to Stetson Bank during the night.

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