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Robot sub will allow scientists to explore Gulf of Mexico

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Mexico City, Feb 27 (EFE).- A new robot submarine equipped with a video camera will allow Mexican National Fishing Institute, or Inapesca, researchers to learn more about the Gulf state of Campeche's marine resources, the Agriculture, Ranching and Fishing Secretariat said.

Inapesca specialists "will be able to evaluate with greater precision the abundance and biomass of species, such as octopi, shellfish, shrimp, echinoderms" and other marine resources, to propose sustainable management strategies, the secretariat said in a statement.

The $78,125 apparatus was purchased by federal and state officials with the support of the Fundacion Produce and will begin operating in March, the secretariat said.

The robot sub, which is made of tough materials and uses cutting-edge technology, will allow researchers to shoot video of different species that live on the sea floor and learn about conditions in their habitat, acquiring information that is needed to effectively manage the region's fisheries resources, the secretariat said.

The robot will transmit information to a computer for analysis and storage, allowing researchers to "follow the development of these species in a timely fashion, from their larval stage to maturity, when they reach the size established for seasonal harvest," the Agriculture, Ranching and Fishing Secretariat said.

The Gulf state of Campeche alone produces a variety of marine products, including shrimp, octopus and shellfish, "in great demand by consumers," the secretariat said.

The robot sub is also expected to be used to monitor marine resources in the neighboring states of Quintana Roo and Yucatan, which supply large amounts of fish products to the domestic and international markets.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130227/robot-sub-will-allow-scientists-explore-gulf-mexico