• 30 researchers begin tomorrow the new exploration campaign of the Avilés Canyon

    September 24, 2012

    The scientists from the University of Oviedo, the Fishery Research Centre of the Principality of Asturias, the University of Barcelona and the CSIC embark on the oceanographic Vessel Sarmiento de Gamboa

    A MOCNESS net for the collection of planktonic samples arranged to be released during the BIOCANT 1 campaign in March, 2012 (image taken from lecturer Acuña's blog:

    The study of the huge Avilés Submarine Canyon (Asturias) begins a new phase, with the start of the BIOCANT 2 CAMPAIGN next 24 September. Around thirty researchers from the University of Oviedo, the Fishery Research Centre of the Principality of Asturias, the University of Barcelona and the CMIMA/ CSIC and, as invited researchers, personnel from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography and other team members from the GEOMAR Institute of Kiev (Germany) will make new measurements and take samples on board the Oceanographic Vessel Sarmiento de Gamboa.

    Among the researchers there are some PhD students and others studying the International Erasmus Mundus Master's Degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation in which the University of Oviedo collaborates under the coordination of José Luis Acuña. The campaign counts on the support and technical assistance of the Marine Technology Unit of the CSIC and has two parts:

    • The first one, between 24 and 29 September, is coordinated by Antoni Calafat, from the University of Barcelona, and focuses on the recovery and substitution of implemented anchorages in several points of the Canyon. These instruments have been measuring and taking samples since they were placed during the previous campaign, BIOCANT 1, in March, 2012, and will be placed there again to keep on gathering information until March, 2013.
    • The second phase of the campaign, between 30 September and 7 October, will be led by José Luis Acuña, from the University of Oviedo, and will focus on the collection of biological samples with the main goal of registering changes with respect to the samples taken in Winter from the deep-sea communities on the Canyon, that is, it has to do with detecting the winter-summer stationarity.

    During the campaign, they will use water sampling systems as well as different types of pelagic trawls and dredgers. The results of the DOSMARES project have recently caught the world's attention after the release of an article in the presigious journal Nature. DOSMARES is a collaboration between the University of Barcelona, the CSIC, the Fishery Research Centre of the Principality of Asturias and the University of Oviedo aiming at the comparative study of the huge submarine canyons of Avilés and Blanes.