An unprecedented discovery
and a world record at Gambier!
June 05, 2019
Despite the beautiful surroundings, the crew was focused on discovering the deep ocean, because although a fair amount is known about the biodiversity found between 0 and -30m, what lies beneath is virtually unexplored territory. The divers reached down to 120m and further, making multiple observations and taking various samples. Scientists are slowly but surely regaining hope, and with good reason. <strong>The divers collected mesophotic coral at record depth, -172m. During the 12-month expedition, more than 4000 samples were collected.</strong> This is unprecedented, and what's more, a ray of hope. The discoveries resulting from the unique collaboration between UTP crews and renowned scientific researchers indicate that <strong>the mesophotic ecosystem constitutes an indispensable refuge for coral</strong>. The future of the Great Barrier Reef and through this marine biodiversity in general, is looking less dire.<br />
All the more reason for the WHY crew to continue their adventure. The rest of the expedition will take place next August in Moorea with the launch of the “capsule” program, a first of its kind. It marks the beginning of a series of studies which seeks, inter alia, to shed light on the reproductive processes of coral, which occur only once a year and for just a few hours. A better understanding of the marine ecosystem that brings about a sustainable environment might not be that far away.