Ottawa (AFP) – A scientific expedition is set to unveil to Web surfers the secrets of unexplored parts of the Pacific seabed along the pristine coast of British Columbia, the Canadian government announced on Tuesday.
Underwater footage of reefs with plenty of rockfish, corals, sponges and basket stars will be taken during the expedition from March 7 to 14 in the fjords and straits of the central coast of British Columbia.
A submersible camera from the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans equipped with navigational instruments, high-resolution cameras and projectors will capture the goings-on at a depth of 200 meters below the ocean’s surface.
These images will be transmitted by satellite in real time to scientists aboard a Canadian Coast Guard research vessel, as well as to internet users through a link at the website protectoceans.ca.
Alexandra Cousteau, the granddaughter of famed oceans explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau will also provide narration and host behind-the-scenes videos for the expedition, which was organized by a partnership between the government, coastal indigenous tribes and oceans conservation groups.
Building on local indigenous people’s knowledge of the region — having for millennia managed the area’s marine resources that are crucial for their culture — the expedition will focus on sites “where almost no scientific exploration has occurred,” said a statement.
The expedition will also collect data that will help identify ecologically important areas for marine planning, and protecting vulnerable species and habitat — in support of Ottawa’s commitment to protect 10 percent of Canada’s oceans by 2020.