In 2009-2011, NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Science and Technology Program is partnering with several federal and academic partners
to explore deep sea coral ecosystems off the Southeast U.S. Research objectives of the multi-year science plan include to map and characterize
coral and fish populations in and adjacent to the new managed areas. Previous expeditions in
and 2010 explored deep coral ecosystems from North Carolina to Florida.
The 2011 expedition aboard the
NOAA Ship Pisces
departs Jacksonville, FL on May 31, 2011 and will return to Fort Lauderdale, FL on June 11. The exploration asset is the remotely operated vehicle (ROV)
Arc, operated by
NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center,
Benthic Resources Group, in La Jolla, CA. The focus of the 2011 expedition will be to explore hard
grounds out to 500 m depth off south Florida, with emphasis on assessing areas that are near coral habitat, but still open to bottom fishing
activities, and assessing the water column community associated with coral habitat. For more see the Expedition Overview.