Exploring deep sea coral reefs

Researchers will begin delving into the mysteries of deep sea coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean, in an effort to better understand and protect these rich ocean ecosystems.

A team of international scientists have today embarked on the first of four major cruises in the Atlantic, travelling to study the Lophelia coral reefs off the coast of Florida’s Cape Canaveral in the US.

“This year we are mounting an unprecedented effort to gain valuable data about one of the most amazing marine habitats in United States waters,” said chief scientist Steve Ross, from the University of North Carolina.

“Deep sea coral reefs are oases in the deep ocean, a province that was thought to be less diverse than shallower waters,” he said.

“It is more difficult for marine life to find food and habitat the deeper you go