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Deep Water Coral (HB1402, EK60)
The cruise will survey and collect samples of deep-sea corals and related marine life in the canyons in the northern Gulf of Maine in U.S. and Canadian waters. The U.S. and Canadian scientists (National Systematics Laboratory at NOAA?s Northeast Fisheries Science Center; Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia) will work aboard the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow. They will use a remotedly operated vehicle (ROV) owned by Canada. Called the Remotely Operated Platform for Ocean Science-- ROPOS for short -- the vehicle can record images and sample water, sediments, and marine life using sampling gear operated from the ship by ROPOS pilots. The sites to be sampled range from 200 to 3000 meters deep, or roughly 650 to 10,000 feet deep. The ROPOS generally works in the Pacific Ocean, and this cruise marks the first time the vehicle has been used for coral research in U.S.Atlantic waters.