Expeditions: Archipelago of Saint Paul's Rocks - 2015
In October 2015, we began another expedition PELD/ProspecMar. This time the destination was the St. Peter and
St.Paul’s Archipelago (St Paul´s rocks), a small group of five islets and rocks (total emerged area ~15,000 m2)
located in the central equatorial Atlantic Ocean, just above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and about 1000 km off the
northeastern Brazilian coast.
The expedition was composed by researchers: Moysés Barbosa (LECAR-UFF), Renato Morais (LBMM - UFSC),
Lucas Nunes (LBMM - UFSC) and Renan Saes (LABOMAR – UFC). The trip to the Archipelago lasted 86h onboard
the fishing vessel Transmar III which is also employed by Brazilian Navy to transport researchers to the scientific
station at the archipelago.
The expedition took 20 days where daily activities include fish visual census, benthic photo-quadrats and sampling
for algal, red rock crab dynamics (Grapsus grapsus), marine sediments and water for microbial bioprospection.
St Paul´s rocks is an unique marine natural lab, gathering all classical attributes for a oceanic island, as been
extremely isolated (1000 km from the mainland), with short shallow area available. It is considered the poorest reef
site in the Atlantic and so, to go there is like breathing evolution at every corner you look.
Written by: Moysés C. Barbosa
Photo 1: View of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago. (Credit: Moysés C. Barbosa)
Photo 2: School of Caranx lugubris following diver. (Credit: Moysés C. Barbosa)
Photo 3: The endemic damselfish, Stegastes sanctipauli. (Credit: Moysés C. Barbosa)
Photo 4: The PELD/ PROSPECMAR team, from left: Renato Morais, Lucas Nunes,
Renan Saes and Moysés Barbosa, on the vessel Transmar III, on returning trip. (Credit: Renato Morais)