A Whale Of A Greeting – Deep Seas Exploration

John Konrad
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November 28, 2007

ROV Graphic

At times commercial interests and biological research align with stunning results. Today we look at projects underway that utilize technology employed by the oil exploration vessels to explore earth’s last frontier; the oceans.

Serpent Project is a collaboration between offshore industry companies and deep sea science interests. They tell us;

Working closely with key players in the oil and gas industry, the “Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing iNdustrial Technology” project aims to make cutting-edge ROV technology and data more accessible to the world’s science community, share knowledge and progress deep-sea research. The program interacts with science and conservation groups globally to transparently communicate the project to the public, increasing the awareness of our fragile marine resources.

You can browse the entire video archive but Transocean, an oil exploration and drilling company, leads the way with 673 fascinating files. CLICK HERE for the files.

The offshore industry is not alone in their quest to document unusual marine species, the U.S. Coast Guard also contributes assets to exploratory efforts. Here are a few photos from the Census of Marine Life;

The comb jelly Aulacoctena sp., collected by means of a remotely operated vehicle in the deep Arctic Canada Basin. Image by Kevin Raskoff, NOAA. Download full version. Clione limacina, a pelagic snail. This specimen was collected from the deep Arctic Canada Basin with an ROV. Image by Kevin Raskoff, NOAA. Download full version.    
A jelly fish of the genus Crossota, collected from the deep Arctic Canada Basin with an ROV. Image by Kevin Raskoff, NOAA. Download full version. Sea cucumbers such as this specimen dominated the fauna at the sea floor at several stations during the Hidden Ocean expedition. Image by Bodil Bluhm and Katrin Iken, NOAA. Download full version    

You may find related images by visiting the group’s Marine Life Project Map

Finally BostonCaptain.com brings us the most interesting image of the month, an amazing video of a whale saying hello to an ROV team. The dive was performed by a Canyon Offshore vessel while inspecting subsea equipment in the Gulf of Mexico for the oil and gas industry. You can imagine their surprise when the visitor arrived.

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