Nekton, a charitable foundation whose mission is to explore and research the deep ocean, worked with a team of technical scuba divers from Global Underwater Explorers. This video highlights the partnership between Nekton and GUE off the coast of Bermuda.
GUE’s contribution to Nekton’s mission in the summer of 2016 was to gather biological samples and visual transects of the seabed. They collected samples at depths of up to 300 feet and spent five hours underwater during the dive.
Submarines are often used for deep sea research, but sending a team of technical divers has a number of advantages.
“The divers are much more dexterous,” Todd Kincaid, the Science and Conservation Director at Project Baseline, says in the video.
They are able to move into places that a submarine physically can’t reach. Divers are also much faster. It takes time for submarines to position themselves and grab objects with their manipulator. But scuba divers? “We can just collect a lot of things and move very rapidly,” says Kincaid.
“The subs can go to 1,000 feet and we can start at 300,” Kincaid explains. “Between the two of us we can cover this huge range of depths that go from 1,000 feet all the way to the surface. It’s a way to increase the productivity of the submersible dives.”
This data that the team collected is now being evaluated by Nekton’s scientists at its laboratory in Oxford, UK, and will be used to deliver the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey, a pioneering multi-disciplinary marine research program assessing the health and resilience of the deep ocean.