R/V Tigress at work
The BTWD21 cruise will describe the biodiversity and occurrence of large predatory fishes in the subtropical deep-sea, and what factors may drive their abundance, using cutting-edge technologies and emerging tools. The unique marine geology of The Bahamas, composed of expansive carbonate banks adjacent to steep shelves and deep trenches, presents numerous benefits to the ecology of resident populations of large predators such as sharks, and is thus a good model system for understanding how and why sharks use and connect shallow and deep-sea habitats. In addition to utilizing previously collected diving data from large sharks in the area, the proposed strategy for empirically addressing these questions is to integrate cutting-edge, deep-sea video surveys with rapid oceanographic methods. This project focuses on two large deep-water troughs known as the Tongue of the Ocean (TOTO) and Exuma Sound (EXSO) in the Bahamas, using drop cameras to study biodiversity from 200 – 1,200 m. Data collected for this project will advance scientific discovery on the biology and conservation of large predators in the deep-sea.