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Cruise NF-12-04-SERA (Sanctuary Regional Development and Assessment) (Reson7125)
1)Ship based mapping and characterization of benthic habitats in the waters around Gray?s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Collected data will need to include backscatter.2)Continuation of invertebrate recruitment investigation in Gray?s Reef. This project will include diving to assess the colonization and succession of invertebrates to a natural substrate. 3)Continue investigations to quantify variation in space and time of the abundance ofschooling prey and mid-water predators at mid-shelf reefs: this involves conducting survey lines using the EK-60 survey system. 4)Continue collecting data on the abundance,diversity and distribution of both fishes and invertebrates both in side and outside the proposed Research Area in Gray?s Reef.This will require divers to conduct visual fis hcensuses along transects and take pictures of quadrats to assess invertebrate fauna. 5)Gray?s Reef would like to explore the possibility of conducting night dives aboard its own diving vessels provided that this does not present theNancy Fostercrew with unduestaffing/overtime issues and would be worked out in advance of conducting operations.