It’s not just reefers who are into mesophotic reefs. Researchers in Hawaii are currently underway with an experiment to measure how deepwater corals such as Leptoseris get the bulk of their energy; either from catching food or from photosynthesis. Rich Pyle and a team of rebreather divers are in Maui doing some really deep dives down to 300 or more feet to explore the mesophotic reefs of Maui which are dominated by Leptoseris hawaiiensis as far as the eye can see, including the gorgeous colored colony above which displays some unique green fluorescent pigment.
What is particularly unique about this deep diving research mission is the coordination between rebreather divers and the underwater submersible Pisces V; the sub seems to be playing a role in scouting out initial sites for the divers who then do the actual leg work of setting up the experiments. Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Pyle is documenting the entire mission day-by-day with lots of text, pictures and video highlights of the super deep dives. Our favorite video so far is from day 7 of the mission (embedded below) wherein the team stumbles upon some really rich areas of fish schools and coral growth.
[youtube width=”680″ height=”400″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAVTynS4lIo[/youtube]