Anticipation and excitement is building as Oceana’s U.S. West Coast staff prepares for seven days at sea exploring and filming largely undocumented coral and sponge colonies off the coast of Oregon!
We will be deploying a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) along offshore banks and canyons containing rocky reefs and soft substrates at depths up to 1,300 feet. Some of these areas, including North Heceta Bank and Siletz Hotspot have not previously been explored with an ROV. During the expedition we hope to capture footage of glass sponges, gorgonian corals, black corals, sea whips, and more.
The specific areas we will be exploring are included as part of our July 2013 conservation proposal submitted to the federal Pacific Fishery Management Council to protect corals, sponges, and other sensitive living seafloor habitats as Essential Fish Habitat. Corals and sponges provide living habitat structures critical to the survival and recovery of recreationally and commercially important groundfish species. A healthy and productive ocean seafloor supports a healthy marine food web and a diverse array of ocean wildlife, making U.S. West Coast waters one of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world.
Oceana is once again teaming up with the captain and crew of the research vessel, Miss Linda, for this expedition. In 2011 we embarked on the Miss Linda during our expedition off of Oregon’s southern coast and captured images and video of never-before-seen seafloor habitats and amazing biological communities. We can’t wait to get on the water to see what we can catch on film this year. Check our expedition page for daily entries and photos from Oceana staff on the water.
To view the footage from our 2011 expeditions off southern Oregon; Puget Sound, Washington; and Monterey Bay, California check out our film Fathoms Deep narrated by ocean explorer and activist Alexandra Cousteau.