Project Title: NECSI Project 3: Surveys of Northern Gulf of Maine/Jordan Basin Habitat Areas for Deep-sea Corals and Sponges
Project Summary

This project collected seafloor imagery via transect surveys around unexplored and underexplored priority sites in the Gulf of Maine including Western Jordan Basin, Mount Desert Rock, Outer Schoodic Ridge, off Monhegan Island. 

This project accomplished three cruises: 1) 11-24 July 2013 aboard the R/V Connecticut using the Integrated Seafloor Imaging System 2 (ISIS-2) towed camera system. 2) 23 July - 6 August 2014 aboard the R/V Connecticut using the Kraken 2 ROV. 3) July 2015 aboard the R/V Connecticut using the ISIS-2 towed camera system.

Anticipated Management Application(s)  None Defined
Location(s):
  •  None Defined.
Point of Contact: Office of the Point of Contact:
  • NMFS NEFSC
Project Title: NECSI Project 3: Surveys of Northern Gulf of Maine/Jordan Basin Habitat Areas for Deep-sea Corals and Sponges
Methods/Approach

We will collect seafloor imagery (i.e., continuous video and digital still) to document deep-sea coral locations. Photo and video images will be analyzed and the deep-sea corals, sponges, and other benthic organisms will be identified to the lowest possible taxon by the Sandy Hook Lab image analysis team (IMAG). Coral locations along transects and patch boundaries will be determined and geo-referenced and used to produce map products and general habitat descriptions that can be of immediate use by the NEFMC in development of the Omnibus Deep-Sea Coral Amendment.  Coral location data and metadata will be submitted for inclusion in the DSCRTP’s Deep-Sea Coral Geodatabase. Coral distribution data will be used to refine the next iteration of the northeast’s deep-sea coral habitat suitability model (Kinlan et al. 2012). Data collected will provide the foundation for several peer-reviewed publications.

Project Results and Management Outcomes

This project accomplished three cruises: 1) 11-24 July 2013 aboard the R/V Connecticut using the Integrated Seafloor Imaging System 2 (ISIS-2) towed camera system. 2) 23 July - 6 August 2014 aboard the R/V Connecticut using the Kraken 2 ROV. 3) July 2015 aboard the R/V Connecticut using the ISIS-2 towed camera system.

A preliminary report on the 2013 and 2014 findings has been submitted to the New England Fishery Management Council.

A description of the 2013 observations was also published.

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