November 26, 2014
BOSTON (AP) - A new underwater explorer has hit the seas armed with cameras, strobes and sonar and charged with being a protector of sorts to the valuable Atlantic scallop catch.
This summer, the stainless steel Seahorse, which gets its nickname from its s-shaped silhouette, was towed over miles of seafloor, from Virginia to Cape Cod.
It was created to get better information about scallops, which bring fishermen a half-billion dollars in revenues annually. But it also took millions of images and captured details about marine life and the ocean floor that stretched beyond scallops.
The Seahorse revealed previously unseen ocean topography, predators stalking prey, and even the furrows left where fishing gear was pulled along the bottom.
Marine scientists say they just don't get this kind of look beyond the darkness on the ocean floor.