Project Description

NOAA CIOERT cruise report South Atlantic MPAs and Oculina HAPC: Characterization of Benthic Habitat and Biota NOAA Ship Pisces Cruise 17-02

Stacey Harter, John Reed, Stephanie Farrington, Andrew David


The primary objectives of the cruise were to gather additional data on habitat and fish assemblages within and adjacent to six of the South Atlantic Grouper/Tilefish MPAs and inside the OECA as part of a long term sampling program to document changes in these areas before and after implementation of fishing restrictions. Efficacy testing of this management tool will aid fishery managers in future use of area restrictions for the protection of valuable habitat and fishery resources. Specific objectives included: o Conduct remote operated vehicle (ROV) transect surveys of habitat and fish assemblages o Conduct total water column CTD profiles for each location o Conduct multibeam mapping with Pisces’ ME-70 system inside and outside existing MPAs to locate potential ROV survey sites as well as to continue assembly of a comprehensive bathymetric map of the entire outer continental shelf margin of the southeastern US.


Harter S, Reed JK, Farrington S, David A. 2018. NOAA CIOERT cruise report South Atlantic MPAs and Oculina HAPC: characterization of benthic habitat and biota NOAA Ship Pisces Cruise 17-02 UNCW Mohawk ROV June 17-July 05, 2017, NOAA CIOERT Cruise Report. Harbor Branch Oceanographic Technical Report Number 185.