Behind the scenes

Mooring maintenance from diver’s perspective

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Photo by George Matsumoto.

October 29, 2015

Last week, MBARI divers conducted routine maintenance on the M1 mooring in Monterey Bay, about 20 kilometers west of Moss Landing. The M1 mooring was installed in 1989 when the Institute was only two years old. Since then, the buoy, equipped with dozens of different scientific instruments, has collected over 25 years of data.

Biofouling is a significant problem for oceanographic moorings and therefore require regular maintenance. Larvae and spores settle on the moorings and foul the sensors. The photo to the left was taken by a diver conducting subsurface cleaning of M1. You can see the diver’s air bubbles at lower left. Schools of juvenile mackerel and halfmoon fish surround the mooring. A very inquisitive common murre accompanied the divers throughout their dive.