deep-sea corals

Victory for Seamounts and Deep-sea Corals

Posted Mon, Mar 7, 2011 by Emily Fisher to deep-sea corals, habitat protection, north pacific ocean, seamounts, victories

A map of the newly protected habitat areas in the Pacific.

Fantastic news from the international negotiations we told you about last week: the talks concluded on Friday with conservation measures that will protect more than 16.1 million square miles of seafloor habitat in the North Pacific Ocean from bottom trawling and other bottom contact gear. 

Delegates also concluded negotiations on a new treaty. Once signed and ratified, it will establish a new fishery management organization charged with sustainably managing North Pacific Ocean fisheries.

Bottom trawls are massive weighted nets that drag along the ocean floor, destroying anything in their path, including ancient coral forests, gardens of anemones and entire fields of sea sponges. Today’s bottom trawlers go deeper and farther from shore than they could ever reach before, into high seas areas populated with slow-growing deep-sea fish and corals that are especially slow to recover from trawling. Nets can be 200 feet wide and 40 feet high, weighing as much as 1,000 pounds and reaching depths of more than 5,000 feet. 


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Day 5: Diving into the Unknown

Posted Tue, Aug 17, 2010 by Emily Fisher to angelfish, blenny, deep-sea corals, diving, florida middle grounds, oceana gulf expedition, snapper

Here’s your daily expedition update from Oceana’s senior campaign communications manager Dustin Cranor:

The Oceana Latitude faced rougher seas today as it reached The Florida Middle Grounds off the West Florida Shelf in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, roughly 100 miles from shore. This is another area that was apparently spared the impacts of oil drilling, at least this time.

Oceana chose this location for its next diving operation because it’s a very important and popular fishing area sitting amongst a complex and vulnerable seafloor habitat, including deep sea corals. Although it’s a popular fishing area, there is little information about the seafloor itself, due to its distance from shore and depth from the surface. 

Our first dive site was nearly 100 feet deep and provided a great opportunity to document large hogfish and angel fish as well as sponges and sea fans.


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