Conservation research in submarine caves is among the
clearest and most compelling use-cases for a small observation-class ROV like
Trident, which is why, last week, we delivered the very first ROV for Good
Sofar Ocean Trident to Dr. Leocadio Blanco-Bercial at the Bermuda Institute of
Ocean Sciences to study the hidden biodiversity in Bermuda’s Anchialine Caves.
Dr. Blanco-Bercial is a marine biologist who studies the
diversity and evolution in invertebrates, especially those in marine cave
ecosystems. Bermuda is home to a network of anchialine caves (caves connected
to the sea through underwater passageways) which are home to a diverse array of
rare and ancient arthropod lineages, many of which are unique to Bermuda. These
species are under threat from land development and other human activities.
“From the science standpoint,” says Dr. Blanco-Bercial, “the Trident will give us
independence from specialized divers availability, and will simplify the
logistics associated with the sampling process – the Trident is easy to carry
even by a single person – and sampling attachments and other gear is easily
transportable by another colleague.”
Reprinted below are the explicit guidelines proposed in the paper.
1. Education. Central to any mitigation strategy involving diverse stakeholders, ranging from professional to recreational, is user education. The following are critical to establishing a responsible user community: Ensuring all potential microROV users 1) not only understand the laws and regulations for wildlife viewing that apply to the jurisdiction in which they are operating, but understand why those regulations are in place; and, most importantly, 2) have internalized a stewardship ethic that motivates them to respect the rationale behind those regulations even when operating in regions where those regulations are not enforced. This is most effective when it occurs at point-of-sale or registration of the microROV. Thus, while the additional four guidelines relate to the user, this first one relates to the manufacturer. To most effectively convey the potential harm that microROVs could pose to marine mammals, the manufacturers are best positioned to educate their user base by providing informational material with each microROV sale.