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Eyes in the sea: unlocking the mysteries of the ocean using industrial, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)

Eyes in the sea: unlocking the mysteries of the ocean using industrial, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)
Eyes in the sea: unlocking the mysteries of the ocean using industrial, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)

For thousands of years humankind has sought to explore our oceans. Evidence of this early intrigue dates back to 130,000 BCE, but the advent of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in the 1950s introduced technology that has had significant impact on ocean exploration. Today, ROVs play a critical role in both military (e.g. retrieving torpedoes and mines) and salvage operations (e.g. locating historic shipwrecks such as the RMS Titanic), and are crucial for oil and gas (O&G) exploration and operations. Industrial ROVs collect millions of observations of our oceans each year, fueling scientific discoveries. Herein, we assembled a group of international ROV experts from both academia and industry to reflect on these discoveries and, more importantly, to identify key questions relating to our oceans that can be supported using industry ROVs. From a long list, we narrowed down to the 10 most important questions in ocean science that we feel can be supported (whole or in part) by increasing access to industry ROVs, and collaborations with the companies that use them. The questions covered opportunity (e.g. what is the resource value of the oceans?) to the impacts of global change (e.g. which marine ecosystems are most sensitive to anthropogenic impact?). Looking ahead, we provide recommendations for how data collected by ROVs can be maximised by higher levels of collaboration between academia and industry, resulting in win-win outcomes. What is clear from this work is that the potential of industrial ROV technology in unravelling the mysteries of our oceans is only just beginning to be realised. This is particularly important as the oceans are subject to increasing impacts from global change and industrial exploitation. The coming decades will represent an important time for scientists to partner with industry that use ROVs in order to make the most of these ‘eyes in the sea’.

Biodiversity, Decommissioning, Deep sea, Exploration, Gas, Marine, Oceans, Offshore, Oil, Petroleum, Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)
0048-9697
1077-1091
Macreadie, Peter I.
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McLean, Dianne L.
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Thomson, Paul G.
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Partridge, Julian C.
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Jones, Daniel O.B.
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Gates, Andrew R.
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Benfield, Mark C.
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Collin, Shaun P.
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Booth, David J.
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Smith, Luke L.
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Techera, Erika
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Skropeta, Danielle
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Horton, Tammy
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Pattiaratchi, Charitha
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Bond, Todd
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Fowler, Ashley M.
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Macreadie, Peter I.
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McLean, Dianne L.
bffb8e42-012d-4243-8b1a-6a9f15c8f39a
Thomson, Paul G.
71c1f23a-22ba-424e-beb4-3b586d37de21
Partridge, Julian C.
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Jones, Daniel O.B.
44fc07b3-5fb7-4bf5-9cec-78c78022613a
Gates, Andrew R.
327a3cc6-2e53-4090-9f96-219461087be9
Benfield, Mark C.
e68014e6-d5f9-4d9c-9c79-78bbb9d66e64
Collin, Shaun P.
108d327c-d791-4608-817a-8f7a5593f24b
Booth, David J.
c2621a8d-bb54-48cc-949a-ae718c099c63
Smith, Luke L.
cec47759-7a0b-4965-a5e9-0023b245eece
Techera, Erika
09ac2374-5363-4e33-a9f0-c6f2ff20d2fc
Skropeta, Danielle
07cd770e-8b08-49c7-a88a-1df2b72aa8e7
Horton, Tammy
c4b41665-f0bc-4f0f-a7af-b2b9afc02e34
Pattiaratchi, Charitha
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Bond, Todd
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Fowler, Ashley M.
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Macreadie, Peter I., McLean, Dianne L., Thomson, Paul G., Partridge, Julian C., Jones, Daniel O.B., Gates, Andrew R., Benfield, Mark C., Collin, Shaun P., Booth, David J., Smith, Luke L., Techera, Erika, Skropeta, Danielle, Horton, Tammy, Pattiaratchi, Charitha, Bond, Todd and Fowler, Ashley M. (2018) Eyes in the sea: unlocking the mysteries of the ocean using industrial, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Science of the Total Environment, 634, 1077-1091. (doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.049).

Record type: Review

Abstract

For thousands of years humankind has sought to explore our oceans. Evidence of this early intrigue dates back to 130,000 BCE, but the advent of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in the 1950s introduced technology that has had significant impact on ocean exploration. Today, ROVs play a critical role in both military (e.g. retrieving torpedoes and mines) and salvage operations (e.g. locating historic shipwrecks such as the RMS Titanic), and are crucial for oil and gas (O&G) exploration and operations. Industrial ROVs collect millions of observations of our oceans each year, fueling scientific discoveries. Herein, we assembled a group of international ROV experts from both academia and industry to reflect on these discoveries and, more importantly, to identify key questions relating to our oceans that can be supported using industry ROVs. From a long list, we narrowed down to the 10 most important questions in ocean science that we feel can be supported (whole or in part) by increasing access to industry ROVs, and collaborations with the companies that use them. The questions covered opportunity (e.g. what is the resource value of the oceans?) to the impacts of global change (e.g. which marine ecosystems are most sensitive to anthropogenic impact?). Looking ahead, we provide recommendations for how data collected by ROVs can be maximised by higher levels of collaboration between academia and industry, resulting in win-win outcomes. What is clear from this work is that the potential of industrial ROV technology in unravelling the mysteries of our oceans is only just beginning to be realised. This is particularly important as the oceans are subject to increasing impacts from global change and industrial exploitation. The coming decades will represent an important time for scientists to partner with industry that use ROVs in order to make the most of these ‘eyes in the sea’.

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Postprint Macreadie et al STOTEN - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 4 April 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 April 2018
Published date: 1 September 2018
Keywords: Biodiversity, Decommissioning, Deep sea, Exploration, Gas, Marine, Oceans, Offshore, Oil, Petroleum, Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 420380
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420380
ISSN: 0048-9697
PURE UUID: b471e0cd-212b-4b6c-8cef-3645228e2466

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Date deposited: 04 May 2018 16:30
Last modified: 04 Feb 2021 05:02

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