Using Photos and Videos to Build a National Deep-Sea Coral Database
Enrique J. Salgado, NOAA/JHT/CCEHBR
22 Feb 2013
NOAA’s Deep-Sea Coral Ecology Program at CCEHBR works in support of the national Deep Sea Coral Research Technology Program (DSC-RTP) established under the Magnuson-Stevens Sustainable Fisheries Conservation Act, as reauthorized in 2006. DSC-RTP is charged with the task of identifying and characterizing deep-sea coral habitats in US waters, in order to provide this information to regional fishery management councils. A large portion of the data consists of high resolution still images and video of the benthos, with corresponding navigational and environmental data. In order for these datasets to yield useful products to NOAA and to the American public; raw image, geographic, and oceanographic datasets must be analyzed, corroborated, and served online. Products may include maps, charts, multivariate outputs, scientific publications, predictive models, and targeted web content. During 2012, CCEHBR staff participated in three field studies. In August our team used Global Explorer ROV off a new research vessel RV Falkor to explore the Gulf of Mexico to 1700 meters depth. In October our team surveyed the Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary off San Francisco, CA to 450 meters depth. Lab members also explored the Southern California Bight to supplement a relational database of deep-coral and sponge images that can be correlated to commercial fishing activity. Examples of each of these explorations will be featured in the presentation.
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