Event Name/Location

2008 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, March 2-7, 2008

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

3-2008

Abstract

The Eye-in-the-Sea (EITS) observatory was designed to be acoustically quiet and to use far-red illumination to observe deep-sea animals unobtrusively. The EITS has clearly demonstrated the critical importance of stealth in research ocean observatories. Its use has revealed both animals and behaviors never seen before. Additionally recordings of animal activity under different lighting conditions and in the presence or absence of different sound-producing vehicles (ROVs and submersibles) have revealed to what extent tools for exploration bias observations. Recent recordings made during a 2007 NOAA Ocean Exploration mission to deep waters around the Bahamas provide excellent additional examples of the importance of stealth. During three 36 hr deployments, at 487, 548 and 694 m, at least nine species of deep-sea shark were recorded. A clear diurnal rhythm was apparent with smaller sharks such as Squalus cubensis seen during the day and larger sharks such as Hexanchus griseus at night. Examples of recordings made of unusual behaviors will be shown including bottom-rooting by six-gill sharks and different swimming behaviors of barracudinas (Paralepididae) under red light as compared to white light.

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