Distribution of deep-water corals of the Flemish Cap, Flemish Pass, and the Grand Banks of Newfoundland (Northwest Atlantic Ocean): interaction with fishing activities
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AuthorsMurillo, F.J. (Francisco Javier); Durán-Muñoz, P. (Pablo); Altuna, Á. (Álvaro); Serrano-López, A. (Alberto)
Marine Protected Areas
Northwest Atlantic Ocean
Vulnerable marine ecosystems
The distribution of deep-water corals of the Flemish Cap, Flemish Pass, and the Grand Banks of Newfoundland is described based on bycatch from Spanish/EU bottom trawl groundfish surveys between 40 and 1500 m depth. In all, 37 taxa of deep-water corals were identified in the study area: 21 alcyonaceans (including the gorgonians), 11 pennatulaceans, 2 solitary scleractinians, and 3 antipatharians. The greatest diversity of coral species was on the Flemish Cap. Corals were most abundant along the continental slope, between 600 and 1300 m depth. Soft corals (alcyonaceans), sea fans (gorgonians), and black corals (antipatharians) were most common on bedrock or gravel, whereas sea pens (pennatulaceans) and cup corals (solitary scleractinians) were found primarily on mud. The biomass of deep-water corals in the bycatches was highest in previously lightly trawled or untrawled areas, and generally low in the regularly fished grounds. The information derived from bottom-trawl bycatch records is ...
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