What Lurks In the Ocean Off the Coast of Vancouver Island?

Posted: August 27, 2013  |  By: Judith Lavoie [Province]

There are psychedelic colours, underwater chimneys, decaying bodies and strange, strange creatures under the ocean off the coast of Vancouver Island. Across the globe, scientists and students are watching as the watery world reveals some of its secrets.

Unique “eyes” under the ocean are spread along 850 kilometres of cable dotted with scientific instruments, stretching from the rocky shores off the west coast, near Port Alberni, to the deep abyss of the Cascadia Basin, 2,660 metres beneath the surface.

NEPTUNE, the largest regional cabled undersea observatory network in the world, is run by Ocean Networks Canada, along with VENUS, its sister coastal cabled observatory — which runs under Saanich Inlet and across the Strait of Georgia to the Fraser River delta — and a smaller Arctic observatory.

The project is led by the University of Victoria for a consortium of universities and other organizations, and ONC, which has adopted the slogan “Discover the Ocean, Understand the Planet.”

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