According to Rosa, the Blue Latitudes team is aiming to compare species diversity and fish and invertebrate abundance at several artificial reef sites, as well as draw comparisons to natural reef sites. Understanding how the water moves in these areas is important to analyzing their results.
“The data we collected and analyzed from the Eco, including information on water speed and direction throughout the water column, will be key in informing our understanding of the distribution of fish larvae, plankton and pollutant levels at the artificial reef sites we will be surveying,” Rosa adds.
Deploying a current profiler by Southern California reefs
Rosa, Hazelwood and Sparks deployed the Eco twice: once from a boat in Long Beach Harbor, and once from a kayak in La Jolla shores. The sites were shallow, with depths of only 11 m and 3.7 m respectively, and the deployments lasted between 30 minutes and an hour. The team chose sites near reefs they were surveying, one artificial and one natural.