ROV Survey of Deep Sea Ecosystem

Ports of Auckland (POAL) successfully used a Boxfish ROV to conduct a deep-sea environmental survey. The survey captured video up to 710 metres deep. The footage allowed scientists to map and identify underwater ecosystems within the target area.

POAL was awarded a marine disposal consent to deposit dredge spoil at a deep-sea site. However, approval was conditional on a seabed imaging survey of a nearby area to identify if rare or vulnerable ecosystems or species were present.

The POAL team subsequently explored several survey options, including using a work class ROV. But the team was particularly impressed with the Boxfish ROV’s compact size, ease of use, and imaging capabilities. POAL’s choice of underwater vehicle was further validated during the successful mission.

On the trip, the Boxfish guys have been really practical and have been able to adapt to changes really easily. And so we’ve managed to make a number of equipment changes on the spot, quickly, which has helped us get through things faster and keep to time.

Paul Kennedy, Environmental Consultant
Boxfish ROV Ready for the Environmental Deep-Sea Survey
The Boxfish ROV in the weighted cage is ready for deployment. 
Boxfish ROV Survey Deep Sea Deployment
A crane is lowering the Boxfish ROV and cage for the deep-sea survey. 

After completing the video survey, POAL scientists prepared a comprehensive environmental report identifying and quantifying all living species in the offshore site area. The report concluded no evidence of vulnerable marine ecosystems within the survey area.

Video Still Captured with a Boxfish ROV at 675m Deep
A still from the Boxfish ROV survey video footage captured 675 metres deep. 
Still from the Boxfish ROV Survey Captured at 675m Deep
A still from 675 metres deep shows the seafloor’s muddy sediment and a large skate.

While we had an idea of what might lay beneath the surface, due to published data Boxfish was able to confirm the environment at 710 metres depth for us!

Nigel Ironside, Senior Environmental Advisor, Ports of Auckland

Read the full article – “Deep Sea Deployment of a Boxfish ROV for Environmental Surveillance” – to discover how POAL used the Boxfish ROV for the deep-sea environmental survey.