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First pictures from Sea Dragon research mission to Sargasso Sea

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The crew and guests on-board the 72ft

Sea Dragon expedition ship have sent these photographs via satellite, showing the start of the first of two expeditions from the Island to find out more about the Sargasso Sea.

The S

ea Dragon is operated by Pangaea Explorations, and has sailed around 50,000 miles over the last two years as part of a series of research expeditions in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Alliance for the Sargasso Sea (BASS) said: “The boat provides a superb platform of rugged capability, capacity and efficiency with a naturally low environmental footprint — perfect for the type of remote sailing expeditions she undertakes.

“The

Sea Dragon sails all over the world’s oceans, from the Sargasso Sea expedition to look for marine plastics to a transit of the Southern Ocean.”

The crew of the boat have been joined on the expedition by local and visiting scientists, interns, teachers, advocacy groups and filmmakers to record, collect, photograph and preserve some of the most iconic life in the Sargasso Sea.

Using technology: Brandon Russell and Eric Heupel, visiting from the University of Connecticut, use imaging cameras to record Sargassum crab camouflage across 14 different light wavelengths. The overnight sail will include vertical plankton tows to find animals that rise from the depths of the ocean at night.
I spy: Lisa Ray, of BAMZ, and Samia Sarkis, of the Department of Conservation Services, identify animals found in plankton samples, with the Sea Dragon crew in the background.
Sargassum crabs from the bucket.
Interesting find: Dr Wolfgang Sterrer and Lisa Ray of BAMZ, and JP Skinner explore the contents of a plastic bucket found floating on the surface of the ocean. The bucket has been in the ocean long enough to have been colonised by goose barnacles and other sedentary creatures.
Crew on the Sea Dragon example some ocean samples.

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Published May 28, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm)

First pictures from Sea Dragon research mission to Sargasso Sea

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