Hawaii: Two unmanned remotely operated vehicles or ROVs dived into the waters off the coast of Hawaii to explore the depths of central Pacific Ocean. It is the first step taken under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) project, named as “Hohonu Moana – Exploring the Deep Waters Off Hawai.”
The robotic submersibles have plunged into the sea floor at least 2,100 meters below the surface, capturing incredible footage of marine protected areas no human has ever seen. The public can watch the exploration images live.
Scientists’ team working on board Okeanos Explorer has been shaping this expedition since 2009. This particular campaign runs until September 30, 2015, allowing public with plenty of time to view these fascinating live operations.
Holly Bamford, the assistant NOAA administrator, said that these protected areas highlight some of the last rather pristine marine ecosystems of the world. NOAA explores these areas because the information and data they gather will help resource managers and scientists better understand and shield these cultural, biological and geological resources.
Christopher Kelley, the expedition science team lead, said that given the undiscovered nature of these regions, their known status and their remoteness. He would be very surprised if the team doesn’t find any phenomena and animals that are new to science.
These places provide habitat for birds, corals, and many other species, and it is one of the prime reasons they have been preserved. However, there is no detailed information on what is in the deep-sea areas.
The ship will explore deeper waters in and around various regions including Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Johnston Atoll, and others. It is the first mission of a three-year plan to systematically gather data to support management and science needs within and around the national marine sanctuaries in the Pacific and U.S. Marine National Monuments.
NOAA’s objective is to understand and forecast changes in the planet’s environment, from the ocean depths to the surface of the sun, and to protect and manage earth’s marine and coastal resources.