Outside a perspective pier of a underwater medium Aquarius, during a Fabien Cousteau-led Mission 31, a Goliath Grouper nicknamed Sylvia pounded a barracuda while a embankment shark and aquanauts watched in delight.
“Oh, did we see that?” one of a aquanauts pronounced with a fad of a child opening a Christmas present. “Oh, wow. Did we get it?”
Yes, underwater videographer Kip Evans did indeed constraint this fascinating dash of a sea universe on video for anyone with Internet entrance to be means to see.
That 1-minute, 3-second video starring Sylvia a Goliath Grouper, named after eminent oceanographer Sylvia Earle, was as critical to a categorical purpose of Mission 31 as was all a investigate conducted and information collected that expected will lead to during slightest 10 systematic papers on issues critical to a health of a coral embankment and a sea ecosystem.
For Cousteau, a categorical idea of a some-more than $1 million idea always has been this: “To strech as many people around a universe for 31 days as probable to commission and impassion destiny generations to caring about a oceans, to delight them, to be extraordinary about them in a approach that was during my grandfather’s era.”
His grandfather was a mythological sea path-finder Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who 51 years ago led a pioneering underwater speed called Continental Shelf Station II. On that mission, aquanauts lived in an underwater robe 33 feet low off a seashore of Sudan in a Red Sea for 30 days.
Cousteau certified he symbolically picked 31 days to mangle his grandfather’s record by one day usually as a approach of attracting media courtesy and sponsorships. He pronounced this idea never was unequivocally about a record — Jacques-Yves Cousteau didn’t even live underneath a sea during that idea (he concurrent it from a topside support on his famed vessel Calypso). And a all-time underwater record is 69 days and 19 mins set in 1992 by Richard Presley, who lived in an underwater medium in a firth in Key Largo.
This mission, Cousteau said, was always about removing people to caring about a oceans so they will wish to assistance strengthen them from overfishing, pollution, meridian change and other things humans are throwing during them.
Wednesday afternoon, usually hours after “splashing up” from a school-bus distance Aquarius where he lived 31 days in a medium 65 feet subsequent a aspect and about 3.5 miles offshore of Key Largo on Conch Reef, Cousteau admitted in a press discussion that a idea was a large success.
“The idea was symbolically to strech about 331 million people around a world,” he said. “We strike 6 continents and we’re watchful for a matrix, though we trust we are approach over that. We were regulating collection [his grandfather] usually dreamed of though were usually not in existence when he upheld away” in 1997.
The younger Cousteau reached a masses with a assistance of complicated technology, amicable media, VIP visits from celebrities including actors Ian Somerhalder and Adrian Grenier, an underwater portrayal event with sea artist Wyland and an charcterised brief from Jim Toomey (the creator of a syndicated comic frame Sherman’s Lagoon).
Earle, famous as “Her Deepness,” also finished a outing to a habitat, as good as Cousteau’s father, Jean-Michel Cousteau, former U.S. wanderer Clay Anderson, eminent underwater photographer Stephen Frink and Dr. Ray Johnson, comparison clamp boss of Lockheed Martin. During a Conshelf II mission, there were no guest allowed.
Fabien Cousteau pronounced before a idea started Jun 1 that he was vehement to have people participate, like Somerhalder, who had roles in a TV dramas Lost and a Vampire Diaries, since it would assistance him strech a broader and younger audience. And it worked. Of a 30-plus videos constructed and posted on YouTube during a mission, a one featuring Somerhald has perceived a many views: scarcely 130,000. The subsequent many watched video so distant has perceived 13,000-plus views, and that was a “shark watches grouper conflict barracuda” video.
But Cousteau and his organisation also did their part, participating in 70 Skype in a Classroom sessions, joining with students in a United States, Canada, England and Luxembourg in one week. And he became a unchanging on Google+ Hangouts, participating with Sir Richard Branson, The Weather Channel, WLRN and a U.S. White House “We a Geek” array — combined to share a destiny of science, record and creation in a country.
Cousteau also spent a lot of time in a water, assisting with a many scholarship projects led by Florida International University, that operates Aquarius, and Northeastern University.
During a initial half, FIU connoisseur tyro Adam Zenone and FIU ph.D claimant Andy Shantz worked on a plan to investigate a attribute between predators, that are shrinking in numbers due to overfishing, and their mostly herbivore prey. This attribute affects a health of coral, a categorical building blocks of a reef.
To do so, they set adult 4 stations with tasty sea weed for a herbivore chase such as parrotfish and lady fish that eat a algae off a coral. If algae takes over, corals can die or be some-more receptive to disease. In dual of a stations, Zenone said, they combined “decoy” groupers. They looked so genuine that when they hung them during Aquarius during a hearing in November, people examination a live video of a soppy porch “freaked out” that all a grouper were being killed.
They set adult GoPro cameras to visually guard a stations, as good as deploying hydro-acoustic imaging sonars to magnitude how closely chase approached a sea weed and a distance of a prey. This form of sonar allows them to get behavioral information during night but a use of lights, that could change function of a animals.
The FIU twin believes that a miss of predators competence meant that a herbivores are peaceful to try over divided from a embankment to find a many healthful food. “If a predator is around, they competence not risk it and usually eat what is during a bottom of a coral, where there is insurance from a predators,” Shantz said.
“It’s like a wolves in Yellowstone and how they finished a riverbanks,” Zenone added. “Landscapes of fear are created. We set out to investigate that.”
Now they have about 12 terrabytes of information to investigate which, with a assistance of connoisseur students, could still take a year or more.
During a second half, Northeastern University worked on several scholarship projects and a aquanauts collected DNA from 12 class of sponges to send to a Ocean Genome Legacy, a nonprofit with a idea to explore, safety and strengthen a genetic biodiversity of a oceans.
And aquanaut Grace Young, who usually graduated from MIT, used a pioneering Edgertronic high-speed video camera for a initial time underneath H2O to constraint never-before-seen slow-motion images of a manta shrimp eating a goby and a Christmas tree worm retreating into a shell.
“We were sharpened during like 2,000 frames per second, so it was unequivocally special what we could see,” Young said.
In footage of corals perplexing to eat plankton as it flowed by, Young pronounced she found herself “rooting for a plankton.”
During a 16 hours of decompression, Cousteau and a other aquanauts watched his grandfather’s Oscar-winning documentary, A World Without Sun, that was finished from that groundbreaking Conshelf II mission.
“I hadn’t seen it in many, many years,” he said. “But we see a lot of things that we did that were really identical that he had finished 50 years ago.”
But he also saw copiousness of new things that his grandfather would certainly have marveled at. He, too, hopes to put all a footage collected into a documentary. Now, he usually needs to find a income to furnish it. Some things never change.