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NCCOS Increases the Sonar Survey Accuracy of the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

To ensure consistency in the quality of scientific echosounder and sonar data being collected by NOAA research ships, NCCOS has partnered with the Office of Exploration and Research to calibrate the scientific echosounder on the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.  Researchers from NCCOS joined the Okeanos in Puerto Rico to conduct the calibration and train the […]

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NOAA Partnership Improves Accessibility to NCCOS Echosounder Survey Data

Seafloor maps that include fishery echosounder data from the NCCOS-led coral reef ecosystem characterization surveys of the US Caribbean (2010-2014) are now available to the public through the National Geophysical Data Center Water Column Sonar Viewer.  The original objectives of the echosounder and sonar surveys were to map habitats of the seafloor and distribution of reef […]

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Mesophotic Habitats Are a Refuge for Large, Overfished Species in Southwest Puerto Rico

NCCOS-supported research found that commercially important fish, such as snappers and groupers, off southwest Puerto Rico are more abundant at mesophotic depths (60–80 meters) than shallow depths (30 meters or less). The study, published in the journal Coral Reefs, suggests that mesophotic coral ecosystems serve as a refuge for heavily exploited, shallow-water reef species and […]

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Scientists Develop Accurate Seafloor Habitat Map for Puerto Rico’s Northeast Grand Reserve

NCCOS scientists recently collected marine habitat data in Puerto Rico’s Northeast Grand Reserve to validate a draft seafloor map of this land and marine protected area in northeast Puerto Rico. Using high definition, underwater video cameras, the team surveyed four hundred sites within the reserve to document reefs and other critical habitats. The researchers will combine […]

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Scientists Assess Contaminants in Vieques, Puerto Rico Shellfish

A team of scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management recently completed field sampling of conch and lobster tissues in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The shellfish tissues will be analyzed for a suite of contaminants, including heavy metals, energetic compounds, and chlorinated pesticides. The project […]

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New Protocol Allows Scientists to Monitor Toxic Bottom-dwelling Algae at Low Cost

Using little more than a window screen to collect algae, NCCOS scientists have developed a simple, low-cost protocol for monitoring harmful, bottom-dwelling algae in diverse marine habitats around the world. The window screens mimic natural surfaces that harbor toxic algae and allow direct comparisons of algae abundance from different locations. In a series of field […]

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Puerto Rico Coral Reef Surveys Support Conservation Efforts

Puerto Rico’s coral reefs play an important cultural and commercial role in the island’s economy, but are under constant pressure from man-made and natural stressors. In response, NCCOS researchers recently began collecting data on Puerto Rico’s reefs that can help local, natural resource managers address coral reef management concerns. Last month, NCCOS scientists, in conjunction […]

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