Deep Sea Conservation
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Eye-In-The-Sea Greatest Hits
As we analyze hundreds of hours of video captured by the ORCA Eye-in-the-Sea, we will be posting the most intriguing video clips. Scroll down the column to the right to view various highlights.

ORCA Eye-In-The-Sea

New Tools. New Discoveries.

We have explored less than 5% of the deep ocean. There are great discoveries to be made and great resources to be tapped: new species, new pharmaceuticals and new industrial compounds. In order to develop effective strategies to preserve and protect these valuable resources we need to greatly expand our understanding. How many animals are there living in the vast depths of the ocean that remain unknown? How many have we never glimpsed because they outrun our nets and avoid our bright and noisy submersibles? What are their critical breeding zones and behaviors that might be inadvertently disrupted by human activities?

We are poised on a new frontier - one that replaces expeditionary science and snapshot sample collection with a permanent observing presence that can monitor and protect our planet's vital ecosystems. It is a grand vision of a "wired ocean" and the ORCA Eye-in-the-Sea™ is at the leading edge of that vision. This novel technology, the world's first unobtrusive deep-sea observatory, was installed 3,000 feet deep in the Monterey Canyon 22 miles off the California coast and was sending video back to shore and then over the internet.

The ORCA Eye-in-the-Sea is able to collect data continuously for months at a time and stream the video to shore, observing the animal life in the dark depths with as little disturbance as possible. It uses far red light illumination that is invisible to most deep-sea inhabitants and an innovative electronic lure that imitates the bioluminescent burglar alarm display of a common deep-sea jellyfish. The very first time this lure was used it attracted a large squid that is so new to science it can not be placed in any known family.

There has never been a deep-sea web cam - until now - and this major technological achievement is exciting both scientific and public interest. ORCA's long-term vision is to one day combine its Eye-in-the-Sea and Kilroy technologies into observing systems that can be used to monitor and protect Marine Protected Areas. View archived video footage to the right on this page.

ORCA Develops Optical Lure "eJelly"
Bioluminescent animals communicate with light. Many deep sea creatures use light to attract or find prey, to attract a mate or to fend off predators. ORCA has developed an optical lure that imitates certain bioluminescent displays - like the burglar alarm display of the common deep-sea jellyfish, Atolla. When this jellyfish is caught in the clutches of a predator it produces a pinwheel of light that is like a scream for help. It serves to attract the attention of a larger predator who will attack the attacker thereby affording the jellyfish a chance for escape. It's a very effective lure that has proved highly attractive to deep-sea squid. View Video
The Medusa
The Medusa was designed for in situ video documentation of biota and collection of water quality parameters, at an operational depth of 2000m. The autonomous and compact observational instrumentation records video in ultra-low light conditions with a highly sensitive camera and DVR recording system. Epoxy encapsulated LED arrays offer virtually unobtrusive 'far red' illumination at a wavelength of 690 nanometers. The submersible data logger records conductivity, salinity, temperature, pressure, depth, and PAR. Versatile deployment options enable the Medusa to be deployed from a small boat or ship and operate in a moored, lander, or drifter mode. Upon completion of the 72 hour operation, a weight is dropped via acoustic release and the Medusa is retrieved with a davit and winch. Invaluable information is obtained through the unobtrusive data recording of the Medusa.

The Medusa to be included in Giant Squid hunt: Read Story Here
Cape Eleuthera Institute Captures Deep-Water Shark Footage Using The Medusa
The Cape Eleuthera Institute recently shared a video featuring some footage of deep-water baited trial video surveys using the Medusa deep-sea survey equipment. The Medusa, on load to CEI from the Ocean Research and Conservation Assocation is capable of operating at depths as great as 2,000m. In addition to recording video footage, the Medusa also can record records conductivity, salinity, temperature, depth, and pressure... Read Story Here

Mountains rising from the ocean depths, seamounts are underwater islands of biological diversity. Providing food, shelter, and spawning grounds for a vast assortment of marine life, from microbes to corals, fish to whales and dolphins, seamounts have been compared to the tropical rainforests of the sea. Yet like the rainforests, these underwater hotspots of biodiversity are being decimated. Destroyed by careless fishing, the fate of the seamounts has triggered international concerns that these largely uncharted underwater wildernesses will be ruined before we’ve begun to understand their value.

Enter the ORCA Eye-in-the-Sea, an unmatched tool for discovering and observing life on seamounts. This novel technology—replacing the old snapshot method of scientific monitoring with this innovative deep-sea video camera--unobtrusively peers into the daily lives of deep-sea denizens. What Eye-in-the-Sea may find is anybody’s guess: Seamounts are home to myriad organisms found nowhere else. These underwater islands are a frontier of new species awaiting discovery and the ORCA Eye-in-the-Sea will soon be there for the unveiling, and more amazing still, so will you. Once research funds are available, the ORCA Eye-in-the-Sea will be sharing the secrets of the seamounts as they emerge, to an unlimited audience of professional and amateur explorers alike.

Seeing these rainforests of the deep through ORCA’s Eye-in-the-Sea will shed new light on the path to their preservation.



National Science Foundation

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)





Why We Explore
Video Archive Clips
Giant Shark
Feeding Frenzy
Giant 6 Gill
Sharpnose 7 Gill
Sleeper Sharks
Giant Isopods
Cuban Dogfish
American Sacfish


A shark can detect the electric pulses of your heartbeat, so it knows whether you are relaxed or panicked.

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