Richard Pyle uses his SOI-funded video camera

Richard Pyle uses his SOI-funded video camera to survey marine life on Mesophotic reefs in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI)

Photo credit: Raymond Boland (NOAA).

Richard Pyle uses his SOI-funded video camera

Richard Pyle uses his SOI-funded video camera

Research divers

Research divers from the University of Hawaii and Bishop Museum place a dome over a set of corals 290 feet deep as part of an experiment to determine coral feeding patterns, while the HURL submersible "Pisces V" stands by.

Photo credit: R.L. Pyle.

Research divers

Research divers

The over-arching research objective of Dr. Richard Pyle is documenting biodiversity of so-called "Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems". Dr. Pyle spent the first part of 2010 finishing construction of a new work shop and dive storage facility, optimized to service and maintain closed-circuit rebreathers and underwater camera equipment.

Using his new Sony XR520 Hi-Definition video camera, Gates underwater housing, and HID lighting system, he participated in an expedition to Fiji February-March 2010 to survey the fishes of Shark Reef Marine Reserve (SRMR), a protected area in Pacific Harbor. Nearly 38 new records of fishes were recorded from SRMR, thanks to the use of rebreathers to access depths below 60m. In May, Pyle gave three presentations at the First International Scientific Technical Diving Workshop, held at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat, Israel.

The workshop was a great success, and Pyle made several rebreather dives and acquired video of fishes and researchers in action. In July-August, he participated in a NOAA cruise to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), using mixed-gas diving techniques to survey coral-reef habitat at depths of 50-70 meters, and in September joined a team to explore deep coral reefs of Maui as part of a NOAA CRES project.