Corals and Sponges of the Maritimes
Cold-water (deep-sea) corals have attracted significant scientific and conservation interest in recent years. About 25 to 30 coral species live in waters off Atlantic Canada, most of them in depths of 150 metres and greater. Several of these species are long-lived, grow to a large size (> 1 m) and can form dense concentrations, while at least one can form reefs. The large, habitat-forming species are generally found along the edge of the continental shelf and in deep channels between fishing banks.
Conservation and protection of corals and sponges and their habitats is a key component of meeting integrated management objectives. In 2006, a Coral Conservation Plan for Maritimes Region was prepared to provide a long-term strategy for protecting and understanding these important benthic habitats. An Eastern Canadian Coral and Sponge Conservation Strategy is currently in development and will help guide conservation measures for these species throughout Eastern Canadian waters.
Scientists wishing to conduct research in the Coral and/or Sponge Conservation Areas are encouraged to contact the Oceans and Coastal Management Division to request an application.
For more information on DFO’s activities related to cold-water corals or sponges, please contact the Oceans and Coastal Management Division at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, tel: (902) 426-9919, e-mail email@example.com
For more information on cold-water corals and sponges in general:
- Status Report on Coral and Sponge Conservation in Canada
- Biological Characteristics and Ecological Functions Served by Corals, Sponges and Hydrothermal Vents
- Deep-Sea Coral Ecology in the Atlantic Maritimes Region
- NOAA’s Undersea Research Program: NURP Research Supports Conservation of Deep- Sea Corals
- Coral Reefs in Norway: Lophelia pertusa
- North Atlantic Stepping Stones 2005
- Corals of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Glass sponges of British Columbia
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