Monday, November 8, 2010

Squid Video: Feeding on lanternfish in Sur Canyon

Watch the 'Sebastes' Phantom remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center descend through the water column above Sur Canyon, CA. The robot meets a school of Dosidicus gigas near 370 meters depth. The Humboldt squid appear to be hunting bioluminescent Diaphus lanternfish in the water column. The squid follow the ROV down to the seafloor at 450 meters depth and strike the benthos, perhaps mistaking the lasers on the ROV for the bioluminescent fish.

The ROV is suspended from the NOAA ship Bell Shimada on a 500+ meter tether. The ROV is controlled by Dr. John Butler of NOAA SWFSC and his team of scientist-slash-ROV-pilots Scott Mau, Kevin Stierhoff, and Dave Murfin. Dr. Peter Etnoyer tagged along with support from Schmidt Research Vessel Institute. The team did a terrific job navigating 5 different sites in 3 different National Marine Sanctuaries along the West Coast last week.


  1. That was pretty sweet Peter! Why are there so much fish there? Seems like a lot or perhaps it was the subs thrusters moving particles around? I don't think of lanternfish as a schooling species, but I don't really know.

    Also, pretty sure Daphnia is a crustacean and not a fish...

  2. Hi Kevin, I have no idea why so many lanternfish other than perhaps canyons are good habitat. you're right I mixed up the genus, its not Daphnia (the water flea) but Diaphus theta, the California headlight fish.

  3. this video is now hosted online, in better resolution, at NOAA SWFSC YouTube channel: