Each year, Oceana undertakes several scientific expeditions to explore and gather data about our ocean’s many ecosystems. In the recent issue of Oceana magazine, we cover three of these exciting expeditions from last year. Read an excerpt below, or visit the full article here.
Great news from our Pacific expedition team! On September 3 the local Portland station KGW featured the expedition on the evening news.
This August, Oceana set sail to document deep sea corals and sponges off the rugged Oregon Coast using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) outfitted with high-definition underwater cameras. The areas they explored are places that we proposed be protected from bottom trawling, which destroys important habitat on the sea floor.
August 26, 2013
We didn’t know what we might find in the Heceta Bank region off the central Oregon coast. It is one of the largest reef complexes off the Pacific Northwest coast, once nominated to be a National Marine Sanctuary because of its ecological significance. There have been a few research dives in the area, but nobody has done underwater surveys in the area we were going to today.
August 25, 2013
Daisy to North Heceta Bank
Today we completed two dives on the north/northwest slope of Daisy Bank. Seven hundred feet below the surface we saw small red gorgonian corals attached to large boulders, glass sponge, barrel sponge, rockfish and box crab. At one point a large ray flew right under our ROV.
August 24, 2013
We faced some new challenges today and took some new risks. We made our deepest dive yet with the ROV to 1,170 feet. We also did our first night dive.
After sunset we dove the ROV to 600 feet at Daisy Bank. The area is currently protected from bottom trawling as an “essential fish habitat conservation area” as a result of Oceana’s 2005 proposal to the Pacific Fishery Management Council. We are now proposing expanding the area to include additional sensitive habitat features adjacent to the current site.
August 20, 2013
Pacific Important Ecological Area Expedition
Kicking off our 2013 Pacific Expedition, our Oceana crew arrived yesterday in Portland, Oregon, from Chile, California, and Alaska and united with our Oregon expedition leader, Ben Enticknap. Today in Newport, the Port was bustling with activity.