Dive researchers onboard with One Ocean Expeditions – which provides expedition cruises to the Antarctic and Arctic – are wrapping up a trip to the High Arctic this week.
The research, part of a partnership between One Ocean Expeditions and Ocean Wise, focuses on exploring underwater sites and documenting marine life.
One Ocean Expeditions’ general manager, Catherine Lawton, said: “Combining passenger tourism with meaningful scientific research creates an incredible opportunity, for those interested, to engage.
“The more opportunities we provide for guests to engage with scientists through conversations and presentations, the more ambassadors for those sensitive regions we create.”
The Ocean Wise Arctic dive team is the only one of its kind in Canada. Since 2015, the team has been conducting nearshore biodiversity surveys in Cambridge Bay, and is monitoring changes in the abundance of key taxonomic groups of fish, invertebrates and algae.
This year marks the first that such surveys will be conducted at previously unexplored sites between Resolute Bay and Grise Fjord in the High Arctic.
“Having our research dive team onboard with One Ocean Expeditions provides us access to underwater ecosystems that have never been studied before,” said Eric Solomon, director of Arctic Programs for Ocean Wise.
“Throughout the 10-day expedition, Ocean Wise divers have been conducting biodiversity surveys, collecting specimens for the Barcode of Life DNA barcoding effort for Arctic marine species, and monitoring ocean temperature.”
On Thursday 30 August, Solomon and other Ocean Wise personnel will board another One Ocean Expeditions’ voyage to collect water samples. These studies will help scientists understand the impact of changes on the Arctic ecosystem, wildlife, and communities.
While onboard, researchers also engage with expedition guests.