The Beacon

Blog Tags: ROV

Photos, Video: Oceana Wraps Up Canary Islands Expedition after Discovering Vast Biodiversity

Oceana in Europe concluded their expedition to the Canary Islands

Diver into a volcanic arch in Roques de la Hoya, El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain, pictured during the Ranger Expedition to the Atlantic Seamounts in September 2014. (Photo: Oceana in Europe / Carlos Minguell)

Oceana in Europe recently concluded their month-long expedition to the Canary Islands, which documented a vast amount of biodiversity around the island of El Hierro. The expedition aimed to map and gather more information about seamounts north of Lanzarote, the easternmost Canary Island, and around Sahara, the southernmost point of the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone, to help grow the body of knowledge about these areas and advance their protective measures.


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Video: Dumbo Octopus Makes Rare Appearance in the Gulf of Mexico

Dumbo octopus appears on film for the Nautilus Live expedition

The dumbo octopus (Grimpoteuthis spp.) (Photo: EVNautilus / Nautilus Live Expedition / YouTube)

It’s not often that rare, deep-sea creatures present themselves to scientists in plain sight. But in a video captured last month during Nautilus Live, a five-month expedition that’s mapping and documenting seafloor ecosystems around the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, an elusive dumbo octopus in the Gulf delighted scientists when it swam right in front of their remotely operated vehicle (ROV).


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Photos: Oceana Launches Expedition to Balearic Seamounts

Oceana will venture to the Balearic islands to record seamounts

A hermit crab holding a big sponge pictured during the Oceana expedition to the Balearic seamounts. (Photo: Flickr / Oceana in Europe)

Earlier this week, Oceana launched an expedition to document three seamounts located between the islands of Mallorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, all of which belong to the Balearic Islands. Using an underwater robot known as a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), a team of Oceana marine scientists will capture footage at depths of up to 3,280 feet. The 10-day expedition will allow Oceana to learn about and map areas of ecological importance that are in need of conservation.


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Pacific Expedition Featured on Local Oregon News

The expedition team poses with the underwater ROV. (Photo: Oceana)

 

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.  


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Notes from the Pacific Expedition -- August 27, 2013

A sea anemone in Stonewall Bank.  

August 27, 2013
Stonewall Bank

Today was the final day of our Pacific research expedition off the Oregon coast. We left Newport before daybreak bound for Stonewall Bank, more than 15 miles west. The seas calmed overnight and we had perfect conditions for conducting our research dives.


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Notes from the Pacific Expedition -- August 21, 2013

Among the beautiful creatures seen today were orange zoanthids (pictured), cup corals, large white sun anemones, and beds of hot pink strawberry anemones covering boulders and rocky outcrops

August 21, 2013
Siletz Reef/ Cascade Head

Today we departed Newport at 5 a.m. bound for the Siletz Reef off Lincoln City, Oregon.  Large ocean swells rocked us in our bunks as Captain Bob Pedro steered the Miss Linda to our first dive site.  We’ve been planning this expedition for many months and the excitement and anticipation was all leading to this. None of us were sure exactly what our ROV would reveal below the surface of the ocean, and we were eager to find out. 


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Notes from the Pacific Expedition -- August 20, 2013

Pacific expedition crew members check out the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) before deployment. 

August 20, 2013
Pacific Important Ecological Area Expedition
Newport, Oregon

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. 


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Notes from the Pacific Expedition -- August 22, 2013

This tufted puffin is looking for a free meal. (Photo: Oceana)

August 22, 2013
South Nehalem Reef

We awoke this morning to calm seas and a beautiful sunrise coming up over Oregon’s Cape Lookout. Knowing it would be the last land we’d see for the next six days, we motored offshore for three hours and arrived at South Nehalem Reef; over 20 miles off the coast. Getting the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) set up, our deployment and retrieval operations had already become second nature. Attracted by the only vessel in sight, hundreds of seabirds flocked our boat. They are likely accustomed to getting a fisherman’s scraps or bycatch tossed overboard. We were joined by albatross, sooty shearwaters, storm petrels, several species of gulls, and our favorites: tufted puffins. But the only thing we were sending over the side of the Miss Linda was our ROV.


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The Hidden World of the Pacific Seafloor

In this gorgeous new Oceana video Alexandra Cousteau delves into Monterey Bay to illuminate the diversity of life at the bottom of the ocean, a crucial habitat that is under the constant threat of obliteration from bottom trawling. Using an ROV the camera captures an otherworldly scene, as scallops flutter by and curlicued basket stars unfurl. Armies of shrimp and brittle stars scamper by, fed by the organic matter from above that drifts down the water column like snowfall, sustaining a remarkably rich community. In shallower waters, coral gardens that take hundreds of years to blossom shelter rockfish and ingeniously disguised crabs, and serve as a nursery for dozens of species of fish. Here octopuses go camouflage against the rocky shale, out of sight of the hungry sperm whales and sea lions from above. Anemone-covered spires upwell nutrient rich waters that feed shoals of krill, which in turn feed blue whales. It is an intricately connected ecosystem and it can be destroyed in an instant by bottom trawling. That’s why Oceana has pushed for an end to bottom trawling in ecologically sensitive areas. And that work has paid off in concrete victories: in 2006 NOAA protected 140,000 square miles of Pacific seafloor from the destructive practice, but more needs to be done. For the most part this world goes unseen by human eyes and it’s why Oceana is working laboriously to document these precious areas before they disappear.


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Rough Seas Near Oregon’s Orford Reef

basket stars

Basket stars in Oregon's Orford Reef. © Oceana

This is part of a series of posts about our Pacific Hotspots expedition. Today's highlights: more amazing basket stars, anemones and sea cucumbers.

Oregon Leg, Day 2

We pulled anchor early this morning and ran the R/V Miss Linda to the Orford Reef, just southwest of Cape Blanco. 

Cape Blanco is the westernmost point in the continental U.S. and is the dividing line of two distinct biological regions for the near shore ocean ecosystem off the Oregon coast. South of Cape Blanco is also infamous among mariners for its high winds. Today, with 20 to 25 knot winds and seas building up to 12 feet, our work was more like the “Deadliest Catch” than a reef survey. 


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