NCCOS in the Field: 2010 Mission – Seafloor Mapping of the U.S Caribbean
From March 18 – April, 2010, scientists aboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster will be mapping the seafloor and studying the coral reef ecosystems and fish habitats of the region. Follow the scientists and their research activities by reading about the Mission and daily log.
At the request of the Caribbean Fisheries Management Council, the National Park Service and the University of the Virgin Islands, scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and other partners will be examining high-priority areas off the southern coasts of St. Thomas, St. John and eastern portions of Puerto Rico. In order to gather information on characteristics of the seafloor and locate the region’s coral reef ecosystems, researchers will deploy a new, state-of-the-art seafloor imager and a remotely operated vehicle. Scientists will also identify key gathering and spawning sites for ecologically and economically important marine species and use mapping data collected to update NOAA’s nautical charts. The team will also use SONAR to detect fish and identify key gathering and spawning sites for ecologically and economically important species.