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SCOR Working Group 118: New Technologies for Observing Marine Life

  2000, Canada
  2001, Argentina
  2002, Peru
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Census of Marine Life logo
Funding provided by
the SLOAN Foundation's
Census of Marine Life
(CoML) initiative

2001 Working Group Meeting
(27 October 2001, Mar del Plata, Argentina)

Chemosynthetic Ecosystems in the Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean (ChESS)

In the absence of the project leader, Fred Grassle summarised the technical challenges facing this project, which were to locate deep hydrothermal vents and sample high temperature effluents and surrounding benthos. The fauna around deep vents, which included microbes, tubeworms and specialised shrimps, was adapted to high temperature and pressure. It was very different to the fauna surrounding seeps on the continental margins, which supported different communities, and was thought to offer considerable industrial potential in the form of new pharmaceuticals and specialised enzymes, for example. New vents had recently been discovered in mid-Atlantic using chemical sensors and this technology would be used in conjunction with an autonomous vehicle, such as AUTOSUB or ABE (??), which would also need to carry still and video cameras. REMUS, whose development was part-funded by the US Navy, was a possible vehicle; it had deep-water capability and could make overlapping transects and produce mosaics. Cindy Van Dover (chair of ????) could provide further technical information.

David Farmer commented that imaging, mapping and underwater vehicles would also be discussed under other projects. The WG would contract Cindy Van Dover for information about REMUS.