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Abundant Deep-Sea Coral Observed in the Gulf of Maine


Last month, NOAA scientists from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center joined researchers from the University of Connecticut to survey deep-sea coral off the New England coast. The cruise, which was funded by the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program, surveyed areas in the Gulf of Maine from the university vessel Connecticut. Using a towed camera sled, they observed 15 sites in Jordan Basin in the eastern part of the Gulf and reported coral presence in most sites, some in high density. The area is home to redfish, which use coral structures as habitat. Findings from this cruise may help the New England Fishery Management Council in redfish management and in considerations of a coral protection zone.

As a part of NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint, we are partnering with the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils to develop and implement a deep-sea coral conservation strategy in the Northwest Atlantic.

Posted August 7, 2013