It is difficult to name the most significant finding or discovery from our years out here. We have documented several species new to the area. We have discovered new deep coral locations. We caught the first lionfish ever collected by a research submersible during our 2003 cruise. This year I think we have all been impressed by the incredible diversity of the locations we visited. Although the sites had similar depths, salinities, and temperatures, we found remarkable differences in the types and numbers of corals, invertebrates, and fishes.
Personally, I am struck by two strong messages. One is our understanding of the natural history of the sea is far from complete. Our technology and other tools are helping create a clearer picture of the life below the waves, but there is still an overwhelming amount we do not understand.
other message is the importance of collaboration. The data and
material we collected will be used initially by six different
researchers. It takes cooperation between the science team, the
ship's crew, and the sub's crew for us to maximize our time at
sea. With these two messages in mind, this mission truly has been
an overwhelming success.