HD3530 Diepzee-expeditie biodiversiteit Caribisch Nederland (BO-11-011.05-041)

Project: EZproject

Project Details


There are almost no published studies documenting the deep water faunas and ecology of the Caribbean, and none so far for the Dutch Caribbean islands in the southern Caribbean Sea. However, recent studies have stressed the importance of deep reefs which may function as key refugia for fish populations (eg. Lesser et al. 2009), may possess unique coral assemblages (eg. Meesters et al. 2013; Vermeij et al. 2003) and many as yet undescribed species (e.g. Baldwin and Robertson 2013). In recognition of this important gap in knowledge and understanding, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs listed two main deepsea action points for implementation in their EEZ management plan for the Dutch Caribbean (Meesters et al. 2010).

The only previous deep water submarine research for the Leeward Dutch Antilles took place in May 2000 during which 24 deep sea dives were conducted with the Johnson-sea-Link II research submersible of Harbor Branch, FLA, USA, down to depths of 900 m, off Curacao, Bonaire and Aruba (Reed and Pomponi 2000). The focus of that expedition was on biomedically- interesting sponges but the biodiversity data of that expedition have not been worked out. Carmabi Foundation in Curacao contributed to the logistics of that expedition with the special request that video footage be made to allow documentation of both marine biota and seafloor debris. The video footage was made but never further analysed. In 2013 it was recovered and successfully translated to good quality DVD. This provides the unique opportunity to report on the fauna and litter concentrations on the seafloor at various depths around the islands and thereby provide new insights into the deep water ecosystems of the southern Caribbean.

Effective start/end date1/01/1431/12/14


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