Cooperative Research Mission aboard NOAA Ship Nancy Foster
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 will be mapping and studying coral reef ecosystems and fish habitats around the U.S. Caribbean. The scientists will identify key gathering and spawning sites for ecologically and economically important marine species and use mapping data collected to update NOAA’s nautical charts. This research mission aboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster takes place March 18 – April 6, 2010 and marks the seventh year of data collection in the area. This year, the team 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 sea floor and locate the region’s coral reef ecosystems, researchers will deploy a new, state-of-the-art seafloor imager and a remotely operated vehicle. Follow the scientists and research activities by reading the daily mission log at: http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/products/biogeography/usvi_nps/nf2010.aspx.