Q: You have given us detailed information about sampling the life in the area that you are studying, with the implication for conservation for future fishermen. One of the NOAA log entries says, "Before such consideration can proceed, we must map and describe suspected spawning locations, and to confirm spawning." Is your ship also equipped to map the ocean floor for these spawning locations? Is that what the side scan sonar does?
A: This ship is equipped with several transducers at different frequencies for different functions. Some of these are used to determine the depth of the water, which helps us create maps of the sea floor. The fathometers give us a side view of what we have passed over. The fathometers are also used during the voyage to help find good dive sites or target areas that interest the researchers. The side scan sonar gives us a picture of what is below usęalmost as if we were looking down.