Deep-sea fish in the family Macrouridae, possibly in the genus Malacocephalus or Trachonurus, with an isopod parasite. Imaged at 1,814 meters. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2015 Hohonu Moana. Download larger version (jpg. 1.1 MB).
Dive 06 of the expedition was located on a ridge extending south from West Northampton Seamount. The objective of the dive was to survey a completely unexplored area of the seamount, testing the hypothesis that high-density communities of corals and sponges can be found on ridge topography. The dive started on a slope at 1,986 meters with several animals present close to the landing spot, including sponges, black corals, crinoids, and fish. As the ROV moved westward up the side of the ridge, the number of animals seen increased and included unbranched bamboo corals, black corals, sponges, chrysogorgid corals, and fish. As the ROV continued to move up the slope, the density of animals continued to increase and included numerous gorgonians, sponges, black corals, and sea pens. As the ROV reached the ridge crest, a very high-density community was encountered that included many corals and sponges, as well as several crabs, shrimps, and fish. This community continued through the remainder of the dive as the ROV surveyed up along the crest. The ROV left the bottom at a depth of 1,782 meters after covering a linear distance of 950 meters.