[Coral-List] Roatan Deep: Video vertical sub transect across mesophotic and deep reefs

Pawlik, Joseph pawlikj at uncw.edu
Thu Jun 16 08:08:45 EDT 2016

Hi all,

I've posted a short video submarine vertical transect that goes from 610 m (2000 ft) to the surface off NW Roatan Island, Honduras, Caribbean Sea.


Some will find this footage interesting because:
(1) Benthic cover is very low below the middle of the mesophotic zone, and below the mesophotic zone, there is mostly clean substratum and deep sea fauna (glass sponges, crinoids, etc).
(2) Sponge cover increases with seaweed cover, congruent with the "vicious circle" hypothesis that DOC from seaweeds may be linked to Caribbean sponge nutrition - for more on that, see:
(3) A lionfish is the first "shallow-water" fish species seen as the sub climbs, at about 500 ft (150 m) - clearly, this species is "here to stay" in the Caribbean.
(4) The sub tracks over the dive gear of a suicidal diver from 30 years ago at 130 m - there is very little fouling the BCD and tank, showing the slow recruitment at this depth.


Joseph R. Pawlik, Professor,
Dept. of Biology and Marine Biology
UNCW Center for Marine Science
5600 Marvin K Moss Lane
Wilmington, NC  28409
Office:(910)962-2377; Cell:(910)232-3579
Website: http://people.uncw.edu/pawlikj/index.html
PDFs: http://people.uncw.edu/pawlikj/pubs2.html
Video Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/skndiver011

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