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Cruise Report EX-16-03, 2016 Hohonu Moana: Exploring the Deep Waters off Hawai'i (ROV & Mapping)
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  • Alternative Title:
    Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and Mapping Exploration of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM). February 25 to March 18, 2016
  • Description:
    EX-16-03 was a combined mapping and ROV expedition to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) that took place between February 25 and March 18, 2016. During the cruise, eight ROV dives were conducted from 648 m and 4,292 m—between the northeast of Mokumanamana Island (also known as Necker Island) and the southwest of Castellano Seamount—for a total of over 40 hours of bottom time, and covered a linear survey distance of 4.85 km. This expedition yielded 14 geological samples and 20 biological samples, seven of which were commensal animals collected with the 13 primary specimens. The ROV video obtained during EX-16-03 recorded at least 249 different types of organisms, documented high-density biological communities at six of the eight surveyed dive sites—including within the oxygen minimum layer (800-1000 m) as well as the deepest known high-density community at a depth of nearly 4,000 m—and noted a new species (possibly new genus) of incirrate octopus, which was also the deepest record for this suborder. EX-16-03 mapping operations mapped over 31,000 km2 of seafloor, with over 10,000 km2 mapped within the PMNM. Five Northwest Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) seamounts were mapped in their entirety, one inside and four outside the PMNM boundaries. Among these newly mapped seamounts, only Castellano Seamount had previously been partially mapped using multibeam sonars.
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