If I mention the words “coral reef”, it’s understandable that it will evoke an image of azure waters and colourful fish swimming just metres below the surface, amonst beams of tropical sunlight. This is the image we’ve been fed by decades of wonderful underwater photography, from Jacques Cousteau, to BBC’s nature programmes to National Geographic. In fact, to the average person, our more temperate and polar oceans are cold, dark places, devoid of life. In fact, our polar regions are aabsolutely thronged with aquatic biodervisity.
The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is currently off the coast of Norway, from where Frida, Greenpeace Nordic Oceans Campaigner writes:
Did you know that there are thousands of beautiful and diverse coral reefs in the northern seas, outside of Scotland, Norway and the Bearing Sea? Most people are not aware that the cold and dark waters up here are teaming but that’s because they haven’t had the chance to look close enough. I am on the Rainbow Warrior to do just that. Specifically what we are looking for is a lovely named creature called Lophelia pertusa. It is this cold water coral that dominates the coral areas of the Northern deep sea. It lives at depths between 200 and 1000 meters. We are now documenting the presence and status of a reef in an area called Breisundsdypet.
In other news,
researchers have recently discovered the largest forest of black coral in the world off the coast of the southern Italian region of Calabria.
Check out the video of the Norwegian Corals:
Norwegian Coral Reefs Threatened from Greenpeace in Nordic on Vimeo.
More: Deep sea research on the Rainbow Warrior – it’s not easy!