The Shark Brothers Join MOTE Expedition: BP-Deep Water Horizon

Expedition: def. A journey undertaken with a definite purpose

In this case, we're documenting our dual-role experience as science party crew members and documentary cameramen on a research expedition designed to study effects of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico. Pelagic animals like sharks and other bony fishes: tuna, marlin, swordfish, etc. are the target sample specimens for this cooperative study projected to last approximately 2 years. 

That term, 'oil spill' has always bothered me, by the way. Let's call it what it is -- one of, if not the WORST, man-made environmental disaster in history; the effects of which, may never truly be known, but there are important questions that need answering as soon as possible. That's what this mission is all about.

When my brother Brooks and I were asked by Dr. Bob Hueter if we could join him and the team from Mote Marine Laboratory and the Center for Shark Research on this expedition, we cleared the calendar and geared up to make it happen. This endeavor will be a welcome challenge for us in a dual role as expedition team members and documentary film crew.

Fortunately, we had an opportunity to work with Bob and the Mote crew earlier this year in the Ultimate Shark Challenge. Bob Hueter, Jack Morris, Jayne Gardiner, Nick Whitney, John Tyminski and company are no doubt among the best and the brightest in their collective fields -- making this opportunity even more important for the two of us.

As I write, we're packing and checking production gear and other essentials so we'll leave you with some background on the task at hand, as well as our home for the next week, the research vessel 'Weatherbird II'.

There's a chance we'll have satellite internet connectivity at sea so check back here often or on Facebook / The Shark Brothers for updates.

There is no more timely or important environmental news story and documentary target than the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and we're excited and proud to be part of this effort.     

Home away from home

EXPEDITION BACKGROUND:
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill thrust the Florida Institute of Oceanography and the research vessels Weatherbird II and Bellows into the national media spotlight and rarely do the vessels set out on a mission now that isn’t highlighted in the evening news.

RESEARCH VESSEL: WEATHERBIRD II
http://fio.usf.edu/Vessels/RVWeatherbird.aspx

http://www.vesseltracker.com/en/Ships/Rv-Weatherbird-652213.html

FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF OCEANOGRAPHY: PRESS RELEASE
http://fio.usf.edu/NewsChannel/10-08-12/FIO_Council_Approves_9M_in_Spill_Research_Grants.aspx

DR. BOB HUETER
http://mote.org/index.php?src=directory&view=staff&srctype=detail&refno=235&category=Shark%20Research

MOTE CENTER FOR SHARK RESEARCH
http://mote.org/index.php?submenu=SCIENCE&src=gendocs&ref=SharkResearch&category=Shark%20Research

MOTE OIL SPILL RESPONSE
http://mote.org/index.php?submenu=SCIENCE&src=gendocs&ref=Gulf%20of%20Mexico%20Oil%20Spill&category=Marine%20Policy%20Institute