Deep Sea Spongetopia on Explorer Seamount
Welcome to Spongetopia! During the last dive of the Northeast Pacific Seamounts Expedition, the team aboard Nautilus made a startling discovery while surveying Explorer Seamount, 250km offshore Vancouver Island, Canada. An otherworldly seascape greeted ROV Hercules, with thriving sponge gardens dotting the slopes of this underwater mountain. Spiraling from the seafloor, trumpet-shaped bugle sponges and vase-like boot sponges provide rich habitat for smaller animals, with some of these intricately-built glass sponges rising over a meter tall!
Learn more about the Northeast Pacific Seamounts Expedition.
During this expedition, E/V Nautilus will visually survey three offshore Pacific seamounts with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in partnership with Ocean Networks Canada, Oceana Canada, and the Haida Nation. Seamounts are important for the resilience of biodiversity and fisheries, and Canada identifies them as Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas.