ROV Discovers 4 New Octopus Species

In 2023, Schmidt Ocean Institute scientists exploring with ROV Subastian have discovered four new octopus species at a depth of ~3,000m off Costa Rica. The octopus were found near two low-temperature hydrothermal springs.

One has been named the Dorado Octopus after the rock called El Dorado Hill where it was found. The others have yet to be formally described.

Full article at: New Scientist 16jan24

Australian Great Southern Reef in trouble

The Great Barrier Reef gets most of the attention when it comes to the impact of climate change on reef health but the Great Southern Reef is in bigger trouble.

The Great Southern Reef is really a massive series of reefs that extend around Australia’s southern coastline, covering around 71,000 square kilometres from New South Wales around the southern coastline of Australia to Kalbarri in Western Australia. These reefs are home to some of the most productive kelp ecosystems on the planet, supporting sponges, crustaceans, fish, echinoderms (i.e. starfish and sea urchins) and many types of molluscs.

And these temperate reefs are suffering even more from heatwaves than the Great Barrier Reef!

Cool-temperate species inhabiting the Great Southern Reef are generally declining in number more rapidly and are more threatened with extinction, than tropical species. Most species on these temperate reefs are found nowhere else in the world (70% of the temperate species surveyed were endemic to Australia). Furthermore, temperate Australian species often have no close relatives. Examples include the red velvet fish (Gnathanacanthus goetzii) and the giant creeper snail (Campanile symbolicum). Both species sit alone in their families, and were found in researchers’ census to have rapidly declining populations.

Full article at: The Conversation 23march23

ROV retrieves debris from lost Titan submersible

Debris from OceanGate‘s lost submersible, Titan, has been retrieved after a fatal implosion during its voyage to the wreck of the Titanic. The days-long rescue mission captured the world’s attention last week.

“Horizon Arctic, a Canadian ship, carried a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, [owned by Pelagic Research Services] to search the ocean floor near the Titanic wreck for pieces of the submersible.”

Full article at: 28jun23

Crews were seen in St. John’s early Wednesday unloading pieces of the Titan submersible, which was destroyed in a deadly deep-sea implosion near the wreckage of the Titanic. Source: 28jun23