Researchers have released the first ever video footage of spectacular cold-water, deep-ocean coral reefs, found off the coast of Ireland, in a bid to convince the Irish government that the ancient reefs need protection.
The images from the seabed, 1 kilometre down, provide compelling evidence that deepwater trawling is decimating reefs up to 4500 years old.
The evidence could be used to help push through legislation to protect seven coral-rich areas found more than 85 km off the west coast of Ireland, says Jason Hall-Spencer, a marine biologist with the University of Plymouth, UK.
Europeâ€™s first deep-water conservation area was created to protect similar reefs off the coast of Scotland in 2004, but no protection for Irish corals is yet in place. Unregulated fleets of deep sea fishing trawlers are now â€œbulldozingâ€ the habitats, says Hall-Spencer.
Read More And See The Videos On The New Scientist Site-
Also visit www.savethehighseas.org
See also Irish coral reefs bulldozed from the BA Festival of Science in Trinity College Dublin, and the Greenpeace Deep Sea campaiagn against bottom trawling that I’ve been involved in for the last year and a half! – daev