Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Seamounts ... mountains in the seas ...




On the east side of Vancouver Island there are islands galore … with some really treacherous sea navigation conditions to work through … while on the west coast, which appears to be relatively easy for marine travel … the waters are equally perilous …

iphone photo from The Times Colonist of
some of the Seamounts off British Columbia


When is a rising land not an island, nor an islet - logical I suppose: when it does not rise above sea level.  Yet there are nearly 10,000 of these underwater mountains of varying sorts … the one you will probably be aware of … is the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain: most of which is undersea.






iphone photo from paper of A Shortspine Thornyhead -
a kind of rockfish found in Canada, Russia and the US

These underwater habitats are one of the most common marine ecosystems … the currents interact at various levels in the ocean attracting plankton, corals, fish and marine mammals … and yes we need to protect these valuable resources.





Bathymetric mapping of part of
Davidson Seamount off the coast
of central california (see Wiki for further
explanation of different sea zone levels)

A partnership of the Haida Nation (Haida Gwaii – my H in this year’s A-Z), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Oceana Canada and Ocean Networks Canada sent the Exploration Vessel Nautilus out to explore ‘the local’ seamounts.  Some of these are 3,000 feet (1,000 metres) below sea level, others are just 75 feet (24 metres) under the surface … a danger to most shipping.





EV Nautilus

The Nautilus has been exploring these marine oases … to learn about their critical habitats and environments … how we can better protect our fishing grounds … 




... further details can be found about the research ship and its history via the Wiki page on Exploration VesselNautilus (EV Nautilus) – it is an interesting read.


Nudibranch - a group of soft-bodied,
marine, gastropod molluscs
(see Wiki article)

Long-term ocean monitoring instruments have been installed on the Dellwood Seamount (see map above for geographical location) … to record the homes and stop-over spots for the various species – flora and pisci-fauna …



This isn't the best iphone photo - but I've left the caption
which reads: Sponge in centre; tracks' white lines are the
marks of the nudibranchs eating it.  The white cirles (four
on top, one on right, one on left) are eating the sponge.
The species is a white-rimmed nudibranch.




The world beneath the waves also needs protecting – for some fascinating film about our underwater life … watch the video … made by Protect Oceans … here’s the link:









The August article in The Times Colonist's 'Islander' supplement spurred my interest on the Seamounts to write this post on a subject that I had not taken cognisance of before ... I will be aware in future.  (The photos in the article are much clearer than my iphone copies!).


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

45 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

We do indeed need to preserve them. Thank you so much for that highlights link. There is incredible beauty under the sea. Rich and varied beauty.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

All our seas are in desperate need of protection. When a rainforest is hacked down you can see the destruction; when plastic and chemicals are dumped in the ocean it does not change its appearance, though the damage is just as real.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
...and thanks for spreading the awareness!!! YAM xx

Sue Bursztynski said...

Stunning photos! The undersea environment is just as important to preserve as the land.

Anabel Marsh said...

Fascinating! I had never really thought about seamounts before.

bazza said...

As so often before, you have found a wonderfully interesting subject to write about! Thanks for the info Hilary.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s criticasterous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I imagine undersea mountains would attract a variety of sea life.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

There has been quite a bit of news lately about how humans and industry are destroying our oceans. It should be a bigger story.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

It's amazing that some are only 75 feet below water! I can only imagine the types of life that these islands support. So important for us to protect our oceans and marine animals.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Ten thousand underwater mountains? That's crazy. Sometimes I wonder if we're living on the wrong side (water vs. land).

Teresa

Joanne said...

I've been gone for a teensy bit, but now back in time for a nifty post. After hearing Alexandra Cousteau speak (Jacques' granddaughter), I became even more aware of the need to preserve our ocean habitats. Your post is a winner

Kelly Hashway/Ashelyn Drake said...

Those are really cool looking fish!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC - I was fascinated by the article; so was pleased I was able to write it up to remember it, as well as highlight for other bloggers who might come here. We definitely need to protect our ocean floor.

@ John - thanks ... as you mention we cannot see the damage in the ocean - though the plastic is appearing in fish now -which we're eating (I gather). Thank goodness for research ... and you're so right that mostly we cannot see the damage being caused.

@ Yam - well a few more people will read here and I'm sure discuss it with others - it's a good way of spreading the word ...

@ Sue - thank you ... courtesy of The Times Colonist ... but at least I can use them this way and as you mention they show us what's there.

@ Anabel - nor had I ... so I'm glad I've written this piece about them ...

@ Bazza - thanks so much, I appreciate your thought. I do enjoy the learning one gets writing blog posts up ...

@ Alex - there are sixteen different zones within the ocean that species inhabit on these mounts ... so much life under there ...

@ Arlene - it is being highlighted a great deal ... sadly we need to be more responsible and how do we get leaders on each of the continents to agree and adhere to the realisation that we're destroying our life lines ...

@ Elizabeth - It brings into focus how important our sea navigators are. I was surprised to read up on this subject ... masses of species that get destroyed or uprooted; yet how much life is there which all depend on each other and thus us in the long run ...

@ Teresa - a mountain is a mountain is a number of mountains - a large land mass on each of the continents are many mountains often layered on each other. So I'm sure there are many more land mountains - I think we're living on the right side! Good thought though ...

@ Joanne - I'm just glad to see everyone who turns up as and when - but I know you're around! Thanks for being here and agreeing that we need to protect our ocean habitats. I think I've seen Alexandra Cousteau speak (probably briefly) but know she's following on in her father's footsteps - we need the research vessels and the Alexandras of this world keeping us up to date on the oceans ... thanks for the thumbs up.

@ Kelly - the species of pisci-fauna and fish are just wonderful to see ...

Cheers and thanks for being enthused by the post - we need to get the word out: our seas need all the protection they can get ... Hilary

Rhodesia said...

What an interesting post. Wish I could watch the video, maybe one day they will give us a decent WiFi speed!! Have a good week Diane

Chatty Crone said...

Interesting - I think some times I forget because I don't know the sea too well. We do indeed need to preserve them so they will carry on for generations and generations.

Liz A. said...

We have so little knowledge of what's underneath our oceans. Lots to explore. Lots to protect.

Hels said...

I always imagined that brightly coloured fish and corals etc were more likely to be found in tropical or warm temperate zones.

One side of Vancouver Island must be a pleasure to visit.

Kali Delamagente said...

It's easy not to think about seamounts at all. They're hidden and we never interact with them. This was a fascinating post, Hilary--as usual.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - gosh it must be so frustrating having slow internet ... let's hope France can get things sorted. Just glad you enjoyed the information though ...

@ Sandie - yes if one rarely sees the sea - I can quite understand one doesn't think it about it that often ...

@ Liz - they are certainly finding out more and more about our oceans ... with lots to protect.

@ Hels - yes it is interesting to see these different and coloured fish in cooler waters; - there are sixteen zones within the oceans where species of many types flourish.

Vancouver and the coast of BC is a delight to see ... but probably better from a craft - as it is very rugged ... applicable all around the coastline here ...

@ Jacqui - no I agree - but the Hawaiian seamounts should bring it home to most people, especially with the recent earthquakes there. We never get a chance to see below the ocean waves ... at least at the depths some of these vessels go - unless we see them on tv or a documentary ...

Thanks to you all - seamounts must be extraordinary to get to see - cheers Hilary

Keith Hillman said...

There's another world beneath the waves. A fascinating piece Hilary

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI Hilary,

Another informative post. Yes.... we DEFINITELY need to protect the waters. The pollution is destroying so much of the eco system. The seas are becoming toxic with red algae and other destructive organisms created by the pollution. It is sooo sad. So many species of fish die every day. The coral reefs are in danger. At this point, I doubt if the damage could ever be reversed. We just need to STOP further damage....

Thanks for sharing your insights and wonderful photos!

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Wow this post was super interesting with awesome photos

Debby Gies said...

Beautiful tour and lessons here Hilary. We must protect our oceans and sea life. You've done a beautiful job of informing us. <3

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith - yes there's a completely unknown and different world down there ... I'm so glad I came across it.

@ Michael - yes we sure do need to protect our oceans and our land ... they both keep us alive and particularly all the flora, fauna and pisci-fauna that ensures that we can stay alive ...

Just glad you enjoyed it ...

@ Jo-Anne - so happy you are interested in the subject ...

@ Debby - thanks ... the article was inspiring and I couldn't resist writing about the seamounts ... so pleased you've found it informative ...

Cheers to you all - and lovely to have your interest - Hilary

Elsie Amata said...

I couldn't agree more. You know how much I love the beach and the ocean. They find new things in ocean all the time. They need our protection. Thank you for sharing this and bringing it into the spotlight.

Elsie

Yolanda Renée said...

While waiting to see what the Hurricane's damage would be we talked of moving back to the northwest. We loved it there. Could still happen, the heat is too hard on my heart and weather disasters are going to happen. We were lucky, but how long can luck hold out? Of course, Washington State has earthquakes and volcanoes, so what's better? :) Choices, choices!

Thanks for all your kind words. Your support means the world!

Sherry Ellis said...

It would be interesting to explore the oceans there. I used to be a PADI Scuba instructor. I enjoyed seeing the wildlife in their natural habitat like that.

Sandra Cox said...

Fascinating for sure, Hilary. Thanks for sharing.

Stephen Tremp said...

I love our Earth and environment and want to see it clean including air, water and soil. Though I'm a right-leaning centrist I shudder at anything that might endanger our environment.

Julie Flanders said...

I find the underwater world so fascinating!! It's amazing to imagine. Thanks for sharing the conservation links - so important.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elsie - there's so much life in our oceans ... it was lovely to come across this article and be able to write it up - they definitely need our protection. Glad you enjoyed the post ...

@ Yolanda - I know I was thinking of you in the eye of the storm ... but as you say there's always something else ready to upset 'our applecart' - health or a major natural disaster. Lots of activity going on in the Pacific Rim's zones. I'm glad you are safe on the other side and all seems to be well with you ... it's a pleasure to connect ...

@ Sherry - oh well you're really geared up for research here ... and I'm certain there's lots of scuba diving happening around the coasts. It must be quite extraordinary to see pisci-flora and fish in these marine zones ... lucky you to have experienced these habitats.

@ Sandra - glad you enjoyed the post ...

@ Stephen - it would be great if we humans could engage with our soils, plants, land, water, air and sea and realise they are essential to our ability to stay alive ... somehow we all need to protect natural life ...

@ Julie - well this article and video certainly fascinated me - and I'd have loved to have seen more. Excellent that you appreciate the links ...

Cheers to you all - so much to protect ... to keep our species alive in the centuries to come and we can only do that if we look after and nurture all living life ... thanks for your thoughts - Hilary

Karen Lange said...

So good of you to highlight this, Hilary. Appreciate the info and photos, too. Would love someday to come visit Vancouver and the surrounding area. Perhaps if I ever make it there, and you are still on that side of the continent, we might meet in person. Hope you are doing well. Have a lovely weekend! :)

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! said...

Hi human, Hilary,

As you are aware, you will have the amazing delight of seeing me comment here while my human dad continues to recupawrate.

I do apologise for our absence on your fascinating blog site.

I shall backtrack and read some of your previous pawsts to my human dad. Of course, as you well know, Gary is very familiar with Vancouver Island. We both thank you for this interesting article. The mention of the Haida Gwaii brings back some fond, inspirational memories for Gary. I shall go and check out the video.

Pawsitive wishes and all the beast, um, all the best,

Penny x

Victoria Marie Lees said...

This is soo interesting, Hilary. Did you ever watch the Jacques Cousteau specials? I loved watching his underwater adventures on TV when I was younger. Like your blog, I always learn so much. Thank you!

Nilanjana Bose said...

Underwater is as fascinating as overland. Your post reminded me of Jacques Cousteau.

Vallypee said...

What a beautiful world there is under the surface of the sea! I wish I enjoyed swimming in cold waters as I’d love to dive under and watch. I can imagine some of these waters are pretty perilous for sailors though!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen - thank you ... we all think of the oceans and the fish ... but forget that the water covers land ... and there's all these habitat zones. The article brought it home to me - and now here ...

Vancouver is lovely ... as too BC and the Rockies ... lots to do and see. I'd love to meet up with you sometime ... I'll be here another year - but after that will be back in the UK: still might make it down south sometime once I've returned to England. But yes - it'd be fun to meet up ...

@ Penny - it's very clever of you to find my blog ... while your human Dad is somewhat incapacitated - I hope he improves soon. I also hope you enjoy some of the 'older' posts ...

Haida Gwaii I'm sure brings back memories for Gary when he was living over here ... I know he loves this place ... thanks for your pawsitive thoughts ...

@ Victoria Marie - yes I did used to see the Jacques Cousteau programmes 'way back when' ... he was amazing. The EV Nautilus article has been so interesting to find out about ... thanks for your thoughts ...

@ Nila - you must be able to see some wonderful sights where you are - I've never visited the Middle East. I expect underwater is so informative about so much ... lots to see and learn there ...

@ Val - I'm like you ... not happy with 'wet water'! But this was fascinating to see and find out about. Very dangerous ... I always think of those early explorers ... perilous conditions.

Thanks every one - so good to see you here ... and it's always encouraging to know you appreciate the subjects I write about ... cheers Hilary

Mark Noce said...

Nature is amazing. It's crazy to thin that all of this variety exists on just a single planet.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I never really thought about mountains under the ocean, which is pretty silly of me. And proves I should have paid much better attention in geography.

Pat Hatt said...

Sure need to be preserved indeed. Those are some pretty big mountains under there.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mark - nature is quite extraordinary isn't it ...

@ Elizabeth - oh we all have these moments ... I did when I read the article and realised it was something I could write up - so pleased I did; geography is an interesting subject - as it can tell us so much ... I know where most areas of the world are because of my geography lessons ...

@ Pat - it was interesting to find out more of life under the ocean waves ...

Thanks so much for your visits ... cheers Hilary

DMS said...

Fascinating sea life! I love the rock fish and the Nudibranch. Interesting information too. Much I had no idea about- so thanks for sharing. :)
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jess - this has really started various strains of thought - but I'm so happy you and the others seem to appreciate this knowledge too. The rock fish is just an amazing colour isn't he - while the Nudibranch I need to find out more about them ... I definitely had no idea about the different zones - makes sense ... yet hadn't thought about it too much ...

Delighted to see you - cheers Hilary

Jo said...

I can't imagine how I missed this blog Hilary. It is a fascinating story and I have seen quite a bit about it on TV. It definitely needs all we can do to preserve it. We have treated the oceans as a dumping ground for many years but that needs to stop.

Nudibranch can be so pretty to look at.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jo - no worries ... probably when you and Matt weren't too well. It was just an interesting article and made me aware of various aspects of sea life I hadn't really taken account of ... so I was just glad to write about it. We definitely need to look after our rivers, lakes, seas and oceans ... thanks for coming back to read - cheers Hilary