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Mesophotic Habitats Are a Refuge for Large, Overfished Species in Southwest Puerto Rico

NCCOS-supported research found that commercially important fish, such as snappers and groupers, off southwest Puerto Rico are more abundant at mesophotic depths (60–80 meters) than shallow depths (30 meters or less). The study, published in the journal Coral Reefs, suggests that mesophotic coral ecosystems serve as a refuge for heavily exploited, shallow-water reef species and […]

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Pulley Ridge Corals Show Potential Signs of Recovery After 10-Year Decline

An NCCOS-funded study has produced a detailed characterization of the deep (60–80 meters), mesophotic reefs and fish populations of Pulley Ridge, located off the southwest coast of Florida. While the study shows a decade-long decrease in coral cover at Pulley Ridge, when compared with data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2003, the findings […]

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Coral Reef Resilience and Research Consistency Addressed at Recent Workshop

NCCOS scientists shared knowledge gained from coral reef research and conservation efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands with researchers at a workshop in Hawaii with the aim of improving the quality and consistency of coral reef research worldwide. The workshop’s goals included bringing together reef researchers and managers who are facing new challenges due to […]

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Innovative Management Approach Guides Marine Spatial Planning

NCCOS has developed an innovative decision support process, the Biogeographic Assessment Framework (BAF), for comprehensive and efficient management of coastal and marine environments around the world.  Two decades of close collaborations with scientists and marine resource managers have resulted in a tool that integrates multiple types of information, such as resource use and ecosystem characterization […]

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NCCOS Sets Context for the Second International Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem Workshop

Mesophotic coral reefs found at depths of 30-150 meters may not be as well understood as their shallower counterparts, but NCCOS is working hard to change that. Much progress has been made over the last six years, and that progress was the focus of the Second International Workshop on Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems, held at the Interuniversity […]

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‘Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2014′ Expedition Discovers New Coral Area in Gulf of Mexico

NOAA-sponsored scientists discovered a new coral area off the southwest coast of Florida near Pulley Ridge. The area is extensive and has the densest cover of plate corals (Agaricia spp.) known in the Gulf of Mexico. This is the most coral seen in the Pulley Ridge area since 2009. Scientists made the discovery in August […]

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Scientists Develop Accurate Seafloor Habitat Map for Puerto Rico’s Northeast Grand Reserve

NCCOS scientists recently collected marine habitat data in Puerto Rico’s Northeast Grand Reserve to validate a draft seafloor map of this land and marine protected area in northeast Puerto Rico. Using high definition, underwater video cameras, the team surveyed four hundred sites within the reserve to document reefs and other critical habitats. The researchers will combine […]

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NCCOS, Partners Explore Deep Ocean in Proposed Expansion Areas of West Coast Marine Sanctuaries

NCCOS scientists and their partners recently explored deep-water reaches in the proposed expansion areas of the Cordell Bank and the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries to establish a baseline understanding of new habitats and species that may soon come under sanctuary jurisdiction. Using a video camera on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the […]

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