The Findings So Far
From the dramatic subsea cliffs of Astove and their unbleached healthy coral ecosystems, from abundance of predators around Aldabra to sightings of six-gill sharks at 300m, early indications suggest the existence of the Rariphotic Zone in Seychelles from 100+metres down.
Here are a few snapshots to give you a sense of what we have achieved so far:
THE FACTS AND FIGURES
- 300+ scientific gear deployments
- 75 scientific submersible dives
- 1200+ biological samples collected
- 100+ stereoscopic video transects, covering 25km of seabed, completed at 6 depths across three biological zones, the shallow reef (10m, 30m), the mesophotic (60m, 120m) and the rariphotic zone (250m, 350 m).
- 30,000 m2 of new high-resolution 3D seabed maps
- 20TBs of marine science data
Back on Land...
On all fronts the expedition has been immensely successful. Back on land, the real challenge begins: the processing, statistical analysis, and interpretation of the collected marine data. This will be a collaborative exercise between a series of networked laboratories from Seychelles, Nekton and participating institutes to develop capacity and accelerate findings. A host of science activities are planned in the coming 12-18 months to ensure we will be able to achieve our science goals:
- Technical report of expedition activities with summary of all data collected.
- Two AfOx fellowships
- Taxonomic workshop in SAIAB (South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity) in August 2019 for participating scientists, joined by world experts, to work through selected samples and specimens from the expedition with the goal of accelerating taxonomic identification, processing, analysing and developing the expertise of local early career researchers.
- Training workshop in Seychelles in Autumn 2019 in order to develop taxonomic, data processing and analysis skills.
- A final workshop in Seychelles in May 2020 with all collaborators to share collective expedition findings to date, agree the datasets and tools to be provided and determine any further steps towards capacity development or in support of ocean management.
- The publication of a number of scientific papers, faunal ID guides, technical reports, benthic maps, atlas of currents and other ocean literacy products.