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Corals: What Oceana Does

coralOceana is working with U.S. ocean policymakers at the regional and federal levels, the White House and U.S. Congressional members to protect deep-sea coral communities and other critical ocean ecosystems from destructive fishing gear, including bottom trawl nets and dredges.

We are working to limit or prohibit bottom trawling in areas known or suspected to contain deep-sea coral and sponge habitat in federal waters in the Northeast, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico coasts and the U.S. Pacific coast from Alaska to Mexico.

Our key tools are advocacy to educate policymakers, public pressure to help persuade policymakers, and public education and media efforts to increase awareness of the threat to deep-sea corals.

Using science, law and an open public process, Oceana has developed a management approach that protects living seafloor habitat while maintaining vibrant fisheries for healthy sustainable ocean ecosystems.

The Oceana Approach is straightforward and uses all available information to protect and preserve living seafloor habitat:

1. Gather and map all available scientific information to locate and identify coral, sponge and other living seafloor habitat.

2. Gather and map information about the threat from bottom trawling in identified living seafloor habitat.

3. Freeze the existing bottom trawl footprint to prevent expansion into undisturbed areas.

4. Close "hotspot" areas within the existing footprint that have a profusion of corals, sponges and other living seafloor habitat

5. Limit how much coral and sponge bottom trawlers can catch.

6. Conduct comprehensive research and mapping.

7. Require ongoing monitoring