On-board Diary: In the kelp forest
Author: Ricardo Aguilar - Expedition Coordinator
Date: October 7, 2012
We conducted three ROV dives today. One on the east side about 520 meters deep, one in a small canyon southeast about 380 m deep, and the last on a mound that reached up to 40 meters.
In the first dive, we saw a mainly detrital sea floor and found some interesting things, including monkfish (Lophius budegassa and Chaunax pictus) and an amphora.
In the second, a rocky area with lots of life teeming in small caves and crevices, including roughies, parrot fish, forkbeards ... but we also saw too many fishing lines and entangled ropes and nets.
In the third, the small mound was covered with algae. We spotted a great forest of kelp (Laminaria ochroleuca and Saccorhiza polyschides), hillsides covered with red gorgonians (Paramuricea clavata) and large schools of amberjack (Seriola especially rivoliana), we also saw grey triggerfish, barracudas, etc..
Since the day was very calm and we still had hours of light, divers conducted a dive to film amberjacks schools and collect samples of kelp for the University of the Algarve which will use it to work on algae genetics.