Marine research on Curaçao is producing spectacular results! Marine biologists from around the world have used our CuraSub for exploration of the deep reefs around Curaçao and have documented their discoveries in major scientific journals. This has helped Curaçao rapidly earn a reputation as a destination where exploring the twilight zone of the ocean is producing dynamic results.
For questions about our research projects in particular or marine research in general, feel free to contact us.
Among the species discovered were not only several new species of fish, but also a vividly colored hermit crab that had previously only been witnessed as a preserved, old and colorless museum specimen. That is until Dr. Rafael Lemaitre (seen on the righthand side in this picture) discovered a live specimen of the Pylopagurus discoidalis (Milne-Edwards, 1880) in the deep reefs of Curaçao. This hermit crab lives in tusk shells, into which it can retract while protecting itself by sealing the shell’s opening with its flat claw. Incidentally, his colleague, Dr. Dave Pawson (seen on the lefthand side in the picture), had a small tropical western Atlantic sea star named after him, the Pawsonaster parvus (Perrier, 1881), following his discovery of this species. The Pawsonaster parvus reaches a diameter of about 5 centimeters and lives on a variety of sea bottoms in depths ranging from 30 to 600 meters. Its appearance always includes shades of light to dark orange spots or patches.
Operating from Curaçao, the R/V Chapman began operations under Chapman Expeditions serving as CuraSub’s mothership since 2012. The CuraSub can take researchers down for extended periods of time to depths of 1000 ft (305 m). Scientists onboard the CuraSub can direct their complete attention to studying all that is going on while exploring the deep reefs.