Bahamas Deep Sea Survey

Manned Submersible Research Expedition to assess sharks and other species inhabiting the twilight zone of Exuma Sound, the Bahamas.

OceanGate Expeditions and The Cape Eleuthera Institute will conduct the Bahamas Deep Sea Survey to explore the depths of The Bahamas in a manned submersible to assess the variety of deep water organisms and understand aspects of their behavior along the edge of the Great Bahama Bank continental shelf to depths of up to 500 meters.

Bahamas Deep Sea Survey Objectives

Using a human occupied submersible capable of diving to depths of 500 meters, the expedition team will explore the near vertical transition from continental shelf habitats to the deep ocean to:

  • Photograph, video, and capture first-hand observations of the behavior of deep-water predators such as the Caribbean reef shark, blunt nose sixgill shark, and Cuban dogfish to better understand their predatory role in food webs of marine ecosystems.
  • Use depth stratified baited video stations, serviced by the manned submersible, to quantify the relative abundance, diversity and behavior of fish, crustacean and invertebrate communities from the edge of the continental shelf into the depths.
  • Collect LiDAR, sonar and photogrammetric data of submerged natural reefs and notable features of the continental shelf that define marine species habitats.
  • Assess the occurrence and abundance of the predatory lionfish to depths of 500 meters to better understand the spread of this invasive species into indigenous deep sea habitats.

About Cape Eleuthera Institute

The Cape Eleuthera Institute is a research facility that promotes a connection between people and the environment located in Eleuthera, The Bahamas. A holistic approach to understanding island ecosystems and the bond between primary research and education helps to create models of effective resource management and sustainable development.

Map location of the Cape Eleuthera Institute and survey area.

Deep Sea Research at the Cape Eleuthera Institute from The Island School.


Fast Facts:

Expedition Dates:
December 2017
January 2018
April 2018
July 2018

Location:
Along the edge of the Great Bahama Bank continental shelf

Maximum Depth:
500 meters (1,640 feet)


Squid and isopods.

Sixgill shark.

False catshark.


Images courtesy of Mackellar Violich, Edith Widder and Medusa.