scientific article | ICES J Mar Sci
Strasburg DW, Jones EC, Iversen RTB
The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries Biological Laboratory in Honolulu is concerned with exploring and developing the Pacific Ocean's high seas fishery resources, especially skipjack tuna. Various factors suggest that a specially-constructed research submarine would be a highly useful tool in studying these resources. Plans for a large research sub- marine are being formulated, and in the meantime a programme of testing and operating small submersibles has also commenced. The first submarine tested was the two-man vessel "Asherah", which was chartered in 1965. "Asherah" operated in conjunction with a mother ship for one month in the coastal waters of Oahu. Operational problems were minor, and the submarine completed 50 dives during the charter period. Dives were made by day and night, with many to the vehicle's full operational depth of 192 m. Missions included investigations of the plankton community and of tuna and tuna forage organisms, surveys of the sea floor and its resources, measure- ments of currents and other features while drifting, bioacoustic research, and various incidental studies. Although the charter was primarily undertaken to obtain submarine operating experience, there were several unexpected research dividends. Of greatest interest were observations on the vertical distribution of tuna and their forage, and on the surprisingly extensive resources on the bottom. These included spiny lobsters, pen shells, red coral, and heart urchins. The operation was highly successful and will be repeated with submarines having a variety of performance capabilities.
USA - Hawaii