In the joint industry project “New methods for mapping and monitoring of seabed habitats” in the Petromaks 2 Program, we have been developing the Underwater Hyperspectral Imager (UHI) to be a viable tool for environmental mapping and monitoring. The project was financed by the Research Council of Norway and seven industry partners. Akvaplan-niva were our research partner. The project started in 2014 and had a main project duration of 3 years. In 2017, publications from the project is prepared.
The project participated in offshore surveys with underwater hyperspectral system in Canadian waters, the Barents Sea and Haltenbanken. Here we have mapped sponge grounds, coral reefs and influence from drilling operations on sea floor habitats. We have also participated in surveys in the high North and Arctic latitudes for mapping of coastal hard bottom fauna. Last, but not least, laboratory studies have been implemented in order to assess the possibility to utilize underwater hyperspectral imaging for coral health assessment, and get a further insight in to the spectral properties of corals and sponges.