Rare Glimpse of Ancient Corals and Other Creatures of the Deep

"Everywhere we go, we find new species," says Les Watling, Ph.D., an expert on corals. Fragile, slow-growing corals abound in deep canyons and along the edges of the continental shelf off the U.S. Atlantic coast. But as fishing activity pushes into deeper waters, these amazing life forms are threatened by damaging gear that scrapes the seafloor. Fisheries officials for the mid-Atlantic region have an opportunity to protect corals in a large swath of the seabed and leave a proud conservation legacy. As Dr. Watling explains, these deep-sea corals play an important role as habitat for other marine life, and we must act to protect these ancient corals of the deep.

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