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 Institute for Marine Sciences in Eliat, Israel from October 26–31, 2014.
NCCOS program manager Kimberly Puglise presented virtually at the workshop via Skype, setting the context by providing an overview of the First International Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem Workshop sponsored by NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey and hosted by the Perry Institute for Marine Sciences in July 2008.
The 2008 workshop brought scientists and managers together for the first time to define the term mesophotic coral ecosystems, discuss and review the state of knowledge regarding these ecosystems, and identify management-driven research needs. Puglise’s talk helped make a critical connection between the two workshops by discussing the impetus behind the first workshop, as well as its objectives and accomplishments. With this, the participants of the second workshop were able to focus on discussing the progress that had been made in understanding these ecosystems and their connections to shallower coral reefs in the past six years. Additionally, her talk discussed NCCOS’s regional, multi-disciplinary mesophotic reef research programs in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
For more information, contact Kimberly.Puglise@noaa.gov.