Expedition Background                     page 1         page 2

NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration supports expeditions all over the world to explore the Earth’s last frontier: the ocean. One of these ocean expeditions, “Islands in the Stream: Exploring Underwater Oases,” took place on the NOAA Research Vessel Seward Johnson in July and August 2002. Scientists explored and investigated deep-water coral reefs, rocky outcrops, and hard-bottom habitats at the edge of the continental shelf off the U.S. southeast coast.




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Watch a video of the Johnson Sea-Link II research submersible as Steve Ross chief scientist of the “Islands in the Stream” expedition describes the mission plan the day they videotaped a lionfish in U.S. waters.

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The purpose of the expedition was to conduct geological, biological, and ecological observations of these habitats, and to collect samples for further analysis to better understand these little known and poorly understood areas. Scientists on the expedition used a variety of methods to collect data and information, including the Johnson-Sea-Link II, a four-person submersible that completed 48 dives during 33 days at sea. It was during one of these dives that scientists came across the invasive lionfish and videotaped it from the window of the Johnson-Sea-Link II.

Video Transcript:

Chief Scientist Steve Ross talking:

This will be a, probably, a 3-hour dive in about 400 feet of water. We’ve got a fishing boat out here that has been catching porgys. So, we are going to go down on this dive and run through the area where they’ve been fishing, and take some standardized surveys to compare our data to theirs. We’ll mainly do timed video transects, general visual surveys, and collect some things if we can.