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Webinar: The State of Deep-sea Coral Protection in U.S. Waters
Thursday, 19 March 2020, 3:30
Thursday, March 19, 2020. 3:30PM. Webinar: The State of Deep-sea Coral Protection in U.S. Waters. Heather Coleman, NOAA Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program. Sponsored by NOAA Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program. More information here.
The United States has been protecting deep-sea corals and sponges from fishing impacts since the early 1980s, and new ocean observations are accelerating conservation efforts. Each U.S. regional Fishery Management Council has now protected portions of the deep-sea, although area size, impetus for creation, fishing regulations, and mechanisms of protection have varied greatly. This presentation reviews coordinated steps that Councils and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have taken to advance habitat conservation for these vulnerable and slow-growing organisms. NOAA's Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program works with Councils and other resource managers, researchers, NGOs, and fishermen to develop research priorities that guide data collection to directly inform conservation action. Compilation of both new and historic coral location data is also beginning to allow extrapolation from study sites to larger areas relevant to cross-regional management. The Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program's database maintains these data, associates them with photographs and oceanographic information, and makes them publicly available. Maps shown in this presentation display these data overlaid with areas currently protected from various types of fishing impacts and by various legal mechanisms across Fishery Management Council regions over time and according to depth. Sharing this information visually tells the story of deep-sea coral and sponge protection and lessons learned, and can inform evaluation of future conservation options.