Finding Fish Hotspots and Mapping Coral Reefs

Expedition Marks Twelve Years of Discovery in the Caribbean

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Check out select photos captured in HD during remotely operated vehicle dives.

From March 28-April 7, 2015, NOAA scientists are on a research expedition in the U.S. Virgin Islands aboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster. This is the 12th consecutive year of an effort to map the Caribbean's sprawling coral reef ecosystem, home to an amazing variety of ocean life. The science team is using multibeam sonar, scientific echosounder, underwater gliders, a remotely operated vehicle, and other high-tech tools to locate previously-unknown seafloor habitats; to map out coral reefs in fine detail; and to find 'hotspots' where many species of fish gather to spawn in rhythm with the lunar cycle. This data is used to help people better understand and manage this critically important region of the ocean. Follow the mission on Twitter, Facebook, and our blog.