Brazilian Navy conducts research on submerged mountain rangeBrazilian Navy conducts research on submerged mountain range

Hydroceanographic survey in the Vitória-Trindade Chain (ES) is important for maintaining Brazilian sovereignty in the Blue Amazon

By Marine Ranger (RM2-T) João Stilben – Agência Marinha de Notícias

This week, the Hydroceanographic Research Vessel (NPqHo) “Vital de Oliveira” concluded the “Management Committee III” Commission, carried out along the Vitória-Trindade Chain (CVT). The underwater mountain range is made up of 30 volcanic hills between the coast of Vitória (ES) and the island of Trindade, 1,200 km from the mainland. The aim of the mission is to seek a better understanding of the effects of these mountains on the physical, geochemical and biological processes that occur in the region, which is home to a wide variety of animals and microorganisms.

The study of Brazilian marine fauna has been one of the priorities of the Brazilian Navy (MB) since the concept of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) was introduced in 1994 by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). In the case of Brazil, this area represents 5.7 million km², where the country has exclusive sovereignty for the purposes of exploration, exploitation, management and conservation of natural resources (living or non-living), as well as scientific research, structural installations and preservation of the marine environment.

In general, when we research islands that are very far from the mainland, we see a biodiversity that is completely different from what exists on the coast. But in this case, as there is an underwater mountain range, it is possible to correlate the organisms found there with those found on Trindade Island,” said NPqHo “Vital de Oliveira .

Frigate Captain Edno Vieira da Rosa Neto

According to him, the researchers collected samples of water and microorganisms and, from this collection, “scientific articles of great relevance to the country” will be produced.
The seamounts act as a base for complex food chains, biologically connecting the coastal environment to the oceanic area that extends to the islands. For this reason, an important part of regional biological interactions is closely linked to the physical processes that occur along the chain.

The Commission began on November 1 and included 20 researchers invited by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), the Federal University of Rio Grande Foundation (FURG), the University of São Paulo (USP), the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and the Federal University of Southern Bahia (UFSB). A total of 37 oceanographic stations were set up, some at a depth of 3,500 meters, using the CTD-Rosette set. The equipment allows the acquisition of temperature, salinity and pressure data, as well as checking the sound speed profile in the water column.

The NPqHo “Vital de Oliveira” returned to hydrooceanographic activities after an intense Moored Maintenance Period, necessary to maintain the efficiency and safety of its performance. In addition to a wide range of scientific equipment, the ship has laboratories that enable researchers to properly treat the samples collected, guaranteeing reliable analysis and obtaining data that effectively contributes to the development of national scientific research.

Area comprising the Vitória-Trindade Chain, off the coasts of the states of Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro. Image: FRAINER, GUILHERME; PEREIRA, M. J. Avifauna of the Vitória-Trindade Chain: History, diversity and conservation – Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.

The governance of the ship is the result of a Cooperation Agreement signed between the Brazilian Navy, MCTI, Petrobras and the Geological Service of Brazil, in a partnership that aims to keep one of the world’s most modern mobile offshore research platforms in operation, capable of mapping data from the atmosphere, ocean, soil and subsoil. This will make it possible to meet the main demands of the national scientific community, gain a better understanding of the wealth that exists in the Blue Amazon and expand Brazil’s presence in the South and Equatorial Atlantic.

The next mission of the NPqHo “Vital de Oliveira” will be to visit the elevation of Rio Grande (RS), from December 4 to 22 this year, with the aim of carrying out research that will provide data for maintaining sovereignty in the Blue Amazon.

Source: Agência Marinha de Notícias

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