the first scientific expedition to panama's unexplored cordillera de coiba sets sail
Manned submarines will be used to explore the first 4 seamounts of the Cordillera de Coiba, located about 100 kilometers south of Coiba National Park. Credit: Undersea Hunter Group

Last year, Panama expanded the Cordillera de Coiba marine protected area from 17,223 to 67,908 square kilometers (6,650 to 26,219 square miles). On April 27th, an international scientific expedition made up of researchers and students from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), MigraMar, the International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP), the University of Costa Rica and the Ministry of the Environment will set sail on the first mission to explore the seamounts of this protected area.

The scientists will conduct daily dives to depths of up to 450 meters, using a manned submarine, and deploy baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVs) several times a day to document the important biodiversity inhabiting the seamounts in the Cordillera de Coiba, located over 60 miles south of the Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The results of this expedition will help better focus the efforts aimed at the management of the marine protected area.

With the expansion of the Cordillera de Coiba marine protected area, Panama fulfilled its commitment to protect 30% of its oceans by 2030, an initiative of the Global Biodiversity Framework. This action also improves the connectivity of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor and strengthens the conservation and sustainable use of protected waters between Isla de Coco in Costa Rica, Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, Malpelo and Gorgona Islands in Colombia, and Coiba Island in Panama. However, the Cordillera de Coiba seamounts continue to be largely unexplored.

the first scientific expedition to panama's unexplored cordillera de coiba sets sail
Héctor Guzmán, one of the scientists on the expedition, is a STRI marine biologist and member of MigraMar who designed the expansion and management plan for the Cordillera de Coiba protected area together with a multidisciplinary team. Credit: Sean Mattson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

“The Cordillera de Coiba is the largest marine protected area in the Republic of Panama and it has never been explored,” said STRI marine biologist and member of MigraMar Héctor Guzmán, who designed the expansion and management plan of the protected area together with a multidisciplinary team. “The objective of this expedition is exploration, discovery and learning, since it is the first time that these seamounts have been reached.”

“I want to salute Hector Guzman and the entire expedition team for exploring this special blue pocket in the ocean previously unexplored by humans,” said Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue. “Knowing is the key to caring, and with caring there is motivation to take action and protect it. I salute Panama for making the choice to formally protect this Hope Spot and exceed its 30×30 ocean protection goals last year. With the upcoming expedition, we may see even further marine protection for Panama on the horizon.”

The Cordillera de Coiba, like the Coiba National Park, is considered a Hope Spot by the Mission Blue Foundation, which is led by the renowned American marine biologist and explorer, Sylvia Earle. Today there are 140 Hope Spots around the world: special places that have been identified as critical to the health of the oceans. Hope Spots also have local advocates that Mission Blue supports with communications, expeditions, and scientific advice. In the case of Coiba, it is Héctor Guzmán.

the first scientific expedition to panama's unexplored cordillera de coiba sets sail
Through baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVs), the expedition will document the megafauna inhabiting the Cordillera de Coiba. Credit: Candy Real, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

STRI and the Government of Panama reaffirmed their commitment to marine science during the Our Ocean 2022 conference in Palau, with a view to the Our Ocean 2023 conference in Panama. This commitment is based on a strategy to produce the necessary knowledge to safeguard the oceans and support the people who depend on them, with a focus on understanding and protecting biodiversity and generating evidence that allows decision-makers to chart a sustainable path towards the future. The expedition to the Cordillera de Coiba seamounts is just one example of STRI and MigraMar actions that point towards the fulfillment of these objectives.

This first exploratory mission is made possible by funding from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Collatos Family Foundation, the Hothem Family, Mission Blue, Re:wild, and the Wyss Foundation.

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in Panama City, Panama, is a unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The Institute promotes understanding of tropical nature and its importance to human well-being, trains students to conduct research in the tropics, and fosters conservation by raising public awareness of the beauty and importance of tropical ecosystems. Provided by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Citation: The first scientific expedition to Panama’s unexplored Cordillera de Coiba sets sail (2022, April 26) retrieved 26 April 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-04-scientific-panama-unexplored-cordillera-de.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Is the lost tomb of Genghis Khan hiding in plain sight?

The birth of Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire and one of history’s most successful conquerors, is shrouded in mystery. The History of the Yuan, an historical account commissioned by China’s Ming dynasty, says Genghis Khan was born in 1162, while The Secret History of the Mongols — ...

View more: Is the lost tomb of Genghis Khan hiding in plain sight?

How changing your diet can help fight the climate crisis

Greenhouse gas emissions are shown per 100 grams of protein across a global sample of 38,700 commercially viable farms in 119 countries. Greenhouse gas emissions are measured in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents (kgCO₂eq) per 100 grams of protein. Source: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/ghg-per-protein-poore. Credit: Wellcome Climate change is driven by and ...

View more: How changing your diet can help fight the climate crisis

Below-average harmful algal bloom predicted for western Lake Erie

Bloom severity index for 2002-2021, and the forecast for 2022. The index is based on the amount of biomass over the peak 30-days. Credit: NOAA NOAA and its research partners are forecasting that western Lake Erie will experience a smaller-than-average harmful algal bloom (HAB) this summer, which would make ...

View more: Below-average harmful algal bloom predicted for western Lake Erie

Universal optothermal micro/nanoscale rotors

Working mechanism of light-driven out-of-plane rotation of micro/nanoscale rotors. (A) A simplified schematic illustrating the experimental setup and operation for OTER of micro/nanoparticles. (B) Working mechanism of OTER: (i) In the nonuniform temperature field, Na+ and Cl− ions and PEG molecules diffuse to the cold region. Yellow arrows indicate ...

View more: Universal optothermal micro/nanoscale rotors

RadioShack Rises From the Dead (Again) to Shill Crypto, Because Of Course

Snjivo/Shutterstock Do you ever get the urge to buy an old brand name like RadioShack and use its lifeless corpse to sell cryptocurrency? Oh, me neither. But that’s exactly what’s happening today. Retail Ecommerce Ventures, an unregulated investment company owned by Tai Lopez and Alex Mehr, is preparing to launch ...

View more: RadioShack Rises From the Dead (Again) to Shill Crypto, Because Of Course

Tesla Submits Plans to Add Massive New Structure to its Gigafactory Texas Facility

Tesla plans to construct a huge additional facility at Gigafactory Texas. Even though it is the world’s largest structure, the company sees potential to grow at the site. Tesla Requested Permission to Build Another Enormous Building in Texas The city of Austin has received a request from Tesla to ...

View more: Tesla Submits Plans to Add Massive New Structure to its Gigafactory Texas Facility

Tesla Allegedly Abuses Employees Following Recent Racial Lawsuit

Tesla is currently facing a new lawsuit filed by its own employees. According to the complainants, the electric vehicle maker allegedly abused them because of their race. Tesla Racial Lawsuit (Photo : Tesla Fans Schweiz from Unsplash)Tesla is facing another lawsuit related to racial discrimination and sexual harassment. As per The ...

View more: Tesla Allegedly Abuses Employees Following Recent Racial Lawsuit

Tesla Gigafactory Texas Expansion Request Has Been Filed! Here's How Massive the Additional Plant Is

The Tesla Gigafactory Texas expansion is now confirmed after the giant electric carmaker filed a request to the city of Austin. (Photo : Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk speaks at the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing “Cyber Rodeo” grand opening party on April 7, ...

View more: Tesla Gigafactory Texas Expansion Request Has Been Filed! Here's How Massive the Additional Plant Is

Study begins to unravel the mysterious evolution of fatherless male insects

Ibuprofen tablets with flavor added survive better in space

Learning to combat DDOS attacks

Companies have a simple and legal way to help their workers living in anti-abortion states—expanding paid time off

Scientists decipher, catalog the diverse origins of Earth's minerals

Who overturning Roe hurts most, explained in 7 charts

Did You Know That Sony Walkman, the Portable Cassette Player, Hit the Shelves on This Day in 1979?

Govt may launch national malware repository; to create robust cybersecurity regime

Indian unicorn heads meet British PM Boris Johnson; discuss India-UK collaboration

Life Helps Make Almost Half of Earth’s Minerals

Chinese game developer miHoYo, creator of Genshin Impact, sues Minmetals trust firm in a case of speculative investment gone bad

eBay's Fourth of July Sale Includes Deals on Home Decor, Kitchen Gadgets, Tech and More

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News