Mon, 2 November 2020
We know very little of the Deep-Sea, including many of the habitat-forming species that provide a place for other species to find food and shelter. These Deep-Sea habitats are crucial for animals as we know that this area of the Ocean can be hard to find any habitat at all. This is why we need to do more exploration and mapping of the Deep-Sea.
Dr. Danial Wagner (who I interviewed for SUFB 1060) was part of a team from Conservation International on an expedition to map many important areas of the Deep-Sea in order to find important areas for protection and maybe discover a new species or two...or three!
Daniel and his team used an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) to grab the samples from the bottom of the Ocean for analysis. The team discovered 3 new Black Coral species. Black Corals are long-lived, slow to reproduce species that could possess properties that can fight cancer. Needless to say, their protection is quite important.
Many of the survey sites where the samples were taken are part of sites that have been leased to Deep-Sea Mining companies that are getting ready to dig up the bottom of the Ocean for their precious minerals. The act of mining will destroy bottom habitat that could include Black Coral species as well as other potentially-valuable species.
Conservation International is proposed a 10-year moratorium on Deep-Sea Mining to map the high seas to find out if there are any important species such as the Black Coral. Protecting these special places will be important to ensure Deep-Sea mining doesn't harm important places or happen at all.
Do you think Deep-Sea Mining should be allowed to happen?
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