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Scientists aboard SA Agulhas on a quest of discovery

The experts will test the health of the sea's ecosystem by using a Conductivity Depth Temperature (CTD) device.

Experts on board the SA Agulhas 2 are preparing for the marine research expedition before embarking on the next leg. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The cream of South Africa's scientific crop is on its way to determine just how healthy the Indian Ocean is.

Dozens of scientists have gathered on the SA Agulhas II, the jewel in the crown of South Africa's scientific endeavour.

Zoleka Filander is one of them; she's a Benthic ecologist, which means she studies the organisms that live in the sediments and rocky outcrops of the ocean.

The offshore Benthic ecologist has already been testing her camera equipment and rugged sleds that will be placed into the ocean at various depths during the expedition.

Other experts, including a Marine Chemist, Mutshutshu Tsanwani, will try to understand the health of the ocean ecosystems off the coast of East Africa, by analysing dissolved oxygen levels, dissolved carbon dioxide, and nutrients from seawater samples collected using a Conductivity Depth Temperature (CTD) device.

Tsanwani said: "The CTD has bottles that are used to collect seawater samples. We are able to deploy it in shallow and deep areas to any depth where we want to collect a seawater sample.”

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