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Cruise report for 64PE488 onboard of R/V Pelagia Terceira Island 2021 - Towed camera video footage

Ramos, Manuela; Dominguez-Carrió, Carlos; Morato, Telmo

Objectives: To explore deep-sea areas of the Azores EEZ to better understand the distribution patterns of large VME species and commercial fishes. Specifically, the objectives of the cruise were to (i) continue the characterization of benthic communities inhabiting the slopes of Terceira and neighboring submarine ridges, (ii) identify new areas that may fit the FAO definition of what constitutes a Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem; and (iii) to contribute with additional data to address patterns and drivers of the distribution of deep-sea benthic biodiversity in the Azores region. It will also provide valuable information in the context of Good Environmental Status (GES), Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and provide new insights on how to sustainably manage deep-sea ecosystems.

Vessel: R/V Pelagia

Chief scientist: Fleur Visser (NIOZ)

Scientific team: Manuela Ramos (IMAR-UAç)

Cruise summary: Six new dives were performed by the towed camera system of R/V Pelagia during the cruise. Four dives were performed on the southern Terceira island depression, covering a depth range between 1300 and 1900 m. The remaining two dives were performed in the Serreta Ridge, WNW of Terceira, between 780 and 1100 m depth. Overall, we collected 6 h of new video footage.

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