Deep-sea Coral Survey Images

During an 11-day cruise aboard the R/V Point Sur, the Habitat Ecology Team and colleagues used an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and cameras to survey deep-sea corals and habitats for the first time in areas of longtime trawl fishing off northern California.

Learn more: NMFS scientists take a first look at deep-sea corals near the California-Oregon border

Note: Click on an image to view full-size.

A paired camera system, borrowed from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, is lowered to 700 meters and used to survey coral communities along the seafloor off northern California.

AUV being retrieved onto the back deck of the R/V Point Sur following a 5-hour mission to the seafloor off northern California.

Black-footed albatross eyes the AUV as the vehicle returns to the surface following a survey of corals on the seafloor.

Pacific white-sided dolphins accompanied the R/V Point Sur during our research off northern California.

At least 4 species of deep-sea corals and 2 species of sponges on the seafloor at 780 m depth off northern California.

Black skate (Bathyraja trachura) observed on muddy seafloor at 780 meters depth near California-Oregon border.

At least 3 species of deep-sea corals (pale Paragorgia spp., orange gorgonian, and short mushroom coral) and a bright white sponge at 750 meters off northern California.

Living and dead specimens of black corals and a bright white barrel sponge at 750 meters off northern California.

Light-pink Paragorgia spp. coral colonies next to the skeleton of a pinniped (likely a California sea lion) on the seafloor at 660 meters water depth near California-Oregon border.

Science team at the end of a successful 11-day cruise to survey deep-sea corals off northern California.

Front Row: Mary Yoklavich (co-chief scientist, SWFSC) and Jeremy Taylor (PIFSC).
Back Row: Tom Laidig (SWFSC), Lisa Krigsman (SWFSC), Chris Romsos (OSU), Liz Clarke (co-chief scientist, NWFSC), Erica Fruh (NWFSC), and Jeff Anderson (PIFSC).

Contact: SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division, Habitat Ecology Team

Last modified: 12/24/2014