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Debris on the seafloor

Scott C France scf at hopper.unh.edu
Fri Feb 23 12:17:45 EST 1996

Back in 1989 we (Ron Kaufmann, Michel Boudrias, and I - all at Scripps at 
the time) were towing a camera sled and trailing otter trawl at about 
2000 m in the San Clemente Basin, off the Southern California, USA, 
coast.  When we recovered the trawl, we discovered our samples (lots of 
ophiuroids, polychaetes, crustaceans) were covered in white paint (as was 
much of the deck of the ship and passageways, later!).  Upon returning to 
the lab and developing the film from the camera sled, we saw the source 
of the paint was a 5 gallon drum of marine paint 1/4 buried in the 
sediments.  In our photos it lay directly in the path of the trawl.  I 
don't remember hauling up the drum (we may have), but I definitely 
remember the paint!

I've seen photos from other trawls done in the Santa Catalina Basin that 
show chairs and other debris at greater than 1000 m.  Bob Hessler has at 
least one shoe that was hauled up in a trawl from that depth.

Scott France                 scf at christa.unh.edu
Department of Zoology        Phone: (603) 862-2104
University of New Hampshire  FAX: (603) 862-3784
Biological Sciences Center
46 College Road
Durham, NH 03824-2617

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