Saturday, September 20, 2014

Instruments deployed, heading home

Preliminary results from the benthic surveys
Yesterday we made our final two acoustic recorder deployments and carried out the last visual surveys. Over the last two weeks we successfully deployed instruments at 7 reefs and carried out visual surveys on 8 (one reef was already instrumented). Initial analysis of the benthic survey results suggest that we were successful in identifying sites that varied in the amount of coral cover, from sites with no coral to sites with around 80% coral. These biological differences among sites will be key to linking the acoustic records we collect to the organisms that live in each site.

This week's deployments were possible with the help of Lee James of Ultimate Whale Watching, who lent us his boat the Aloha Kai, a robust vessel that was ideal for the diving we were doing.

Now, we wait until January when we can retrieve the recorders and find out how these reefs may vary acoustically.

The Aloha Kai in harbor, prior to our last instrument
This work was made possible through a collaboration with Marc Lammers and Eden Zang of Oceanwide Science Institute, based here in Maui, and with funding from WHOI's Access To The Sea program.

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