The Oceana Ranger, our roving catamaran, has discovered deep-sea white coral in the Aviles Canyon in the Bay of Biscay, off the northern coast of Spain. The coral was identified using an underwater robot, which can work down to 600 meters.
The deep-sea coral can take centuries, or even millennia, to form -- some European coral formations are more than 8,000 years old, and their age makes them especially vulnerable. Recent studies estimate that almost half of the deep-sea coral reefs in Europe have disappeared, particularly due to destructive fishing methods such as bottom trawling.
Oceana's chief scientist Mike Hirshfield said the discovery is "very exciting." He continued, "It's so amazing and depressing how little ROV [remotely operated underwater vehicle] science has been done in the Bay of Biscay."
Rove on, Ranger!
[Image from the Oceana Ranger]
- Photos: Oceana Launches Expedition to El Hierro Island and Atlantic Seamounts Posted Thu, September 18, 2014
- High Level of Seafood Fraud Found in Denmark Posted Sat, September 20, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Shark-Eating Dinosaur Fossils Discovered, Germany Paving Way for Cheaper Wind Energy, and More Posted Mon, September 15, 2014
- Oceana Magazine: Arctic Assets Posted Thu, September 18, 2014
- CEO Note: Sperm Whales Left Unprotected from Drift Gillnets Posted Sun, September 21, 2014