Throughout the week the team explored Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs) on several banks in the NWGOM, including Alderdice Bank, McGrail Bank, Sonnier Bank and Geyer Bank, all under consideration for sanctuary expansion. In addition to technology demonstrations, HBOI researchers collected video and photographic transects for comparison to previously collected data from these banks. The team also tested the sample collection abilities of Yogi, collecting samples of sponge and black coral for use in genetic connectivity analyses throughout the NWGOM with collaborator Santiago Herrera (Lehigh University). The second and third legs of the GFOE cruises are being led by collaborators Sarah Davies (Boston University) and Mercer Brugler (NYC College of Technology) with focuses on MCE coral spawning and black corals, respectively.
Thanks to GFOE, the crew of the R/V Manta, and FGBNMS for a successful research mission!
Learn more about the mission here:
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