Yesterday you heard about the Latitudeâ€™s foray into the Alabama Alps. Today, photos!
Here are some of the cool creatures our deep-sea ROV captured on camera. Which one's your favorite?
Special thanks to Nautica, whose support made our use of the deep sea ROV possible!
In todayâ€™s update from the boat, expedition leader Xavier Pastor discusses the preparations for the next leg of the journey, and the diversâ€™ exploration of the waters beneath one of the gulfâ€™s myriad oil rigs.
Itâ€™s incredible to think about communities of marine life living in the shadows of oil rigs, isnâ€™t it?
Have a burning question about our ongoing expedition in the gulf? Ask it in the comments!
The Latitude is like an anthill. Thereâ€™s a crane working on deck to remove some of the materials that were used in the last stage of the expedition: anchors, compressors, chains, ropes, buoys...
Part of the Oceana crew is also packing their bags in order to make room for the new members of the expedition who are slowly making their way to the boat.
The frenetic activity on-board is slowed only by the heat. Itâ€™s so hot, and the humidity is so high, that even the boatâ€™s operators have to stop and drink water to avoid dehydration.
Oceana board member and renowned fisheries biologist Daniel Pauly spoke to OnEarth magazine about the gulf oil spillâ€™s effect on marine life and fisheries.
â€śWe cannot really grasp the measure of this accident because we donâ€™t know if we are at the beginning, the middle or near the end of it,â€ť he says.
Watch the video for more from Pauly.
Andy Sharpless is the CEO of Oceana.
The most familiar victims of the oil spill are the ones with faces: birds, sea turtles, dolphins, whales.
But as the New York Times reports today, there are at least three extensive deep-sea coral reefs lying directly beneath the oil slick in the gulf. And coral reefs canâ€™t swim or fly away from the plumes of partly dispersed oil spreading in the deep sea.
Both oil and dispersants are toxic to corals and have been found to impede the ability of corals to grow and reproduce, and the effects are amplified when they are mixed, which may be the case with these plumes.
Itâ€™s unknown exactly how sensitive deep-sea corals are to oil and dispersants, though as Oceanaâ€™s Pacific science director Jeffrey Short told the Times, â€śIt might be locally catastrophic, particularly if thereâ€™s an oxygen-depleted mass that develops.â€ť
A few days ago, more than 20 dead Kemp's ridley sea turtles washed up on Mississippiâ€™s shores. While there is no evidence the deaths are linked to the oil spill, the incident may be merely foreshadowing whatâ€™s to come for sea turtles in the Gulf.
Sea turtles come to the surface to breathe, and NOAA reports that between 30 and 50 sea turtles (species unknown) were seen swimming yesterday in or near the oil spill. It may be only a matter of time until we see oiled turtles stranded on beaches as well.
Kempâ€™s ridleys, the smallest and most threatened sea turtle in the world, typically spend their entire lives in the Gulf of Mexico, nesting only on beaches in Mexico and southern Texas, giving them the name the â€śGulfâ€™s Sea Turtleâ€ť. And right now is the peak migration season for the turtles as they return to their nesting grounds.