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Deep Sea Coral Research & Technology ProgramóResearch Projects
In 2009, NOAA started conducting deep-sea coral research in U.S. waters using advanced underwater technologies to better understand deep-sea coral habitats and help inform fisheries management decisions. We are conducting three-year field efforts in each of seven regions to research, map, and characterize deep-sea coral habitats in selected regions. In addition to these field activities, the Program is also funding targeted analyses to integrate existing research on—and known locations of—deep-sea corals; conducting workshops to further identify management-driven deep-sea coral exploration and research needs and to identify the minimum requirements to address deep-sea coral data and information management needs; analyzing the distribution and intensity of fishing practices that may impact these corals; and improving the reporting and analysis of bycatch of deep-sea corals caught in commercial fishing activities. Click on any of the projects below to learn more about our work.
Planning Workshop for the State of Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Ecosystems Report (2011)
Three-year Field Research Project (2012-2014)
Planning is underway for fieldwork beginning in 2012.
West Coast Region
Three-year Field Research Project (2010-2012)
In consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council, we gather information needed to better understand the location, distribution, status, and health of deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems to inform conservation and management actions. The research will inform the Council’s five-year review of measures to protect essential fish habitat for groundfish as well as contribute to improving management within NOAA’s five West Coast national marine sanctuaries.
2011 Bodega Canyon Cruise: Using an autonomous underwater vehicle, this cruise photographed parts of the canyon that have never before been explored.
2010 West Coast Deep-Sea Coral Expedition: Cruise aboard the NOAA Ship McArthur II to explore deep-sea coral habitats in and around several of the national marine sanctuaries from Washington's Olympic Coast to the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California.
Pacific Islands Region
Three-year Field Research Project (2013-2015)
A workshop was held in 2011 to set research priorities for the three-year fieldwork beginning in 2013.
South Atlantic Region
Three-year Field Research Project(2009-2011)
In coordination with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, mapping and research efforts focus on requirements to locate and map locations of deep-sea corals and conduct research to provide key information needed to protect deep-sea coral habitats in this region.
Extreme Corals 2011: Cruise to explore hard grounds out to 500 meters depth off the coast of southern Florida, with emphasis on assessing areas that are near coral habitat, but still open to bottom fishing activities.
Life on the Edge: Extreme Corals 2010: Cruise surveying deep-sea coral ecosystems from Pourtales Terrace off the Florida Keys to the Jacksonville, Florida. Included lithoherms that were recently designated as protected areas.
2009 Southeast Submersible Cruise: Cruise off Cape Canaveral, Florida, to examine deep-sea coral ecosystems and compare them with non-reef environments.
Gulf of Mexico Region