Tuesday March 5, 2024

Monterey Herald

Deep-sea coral restoration and research sites are being proposed to protect deep-sea habitats from bottom fishing gear in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

“Throughout the world, we’ve been damaging deep-sea corals even before people really even thought about them,” said Andrew DeVogelaere, a research ecologist for NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. “When people see them now, they’re beautiful and inspiring.”

On Thursday, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, which manages commercial, recreational, and tribal fisheries in Federal waters off of Washington, Oregon and California, will analyze the potential impacts of fishery closures to protect deep-sea corals from bottom contact gear at three potential sites – Sur Ridge, Año Nuevo Canyon, and Ascension Canyon.

At these depths, bottom contact gear could include traps or set longlines for sablefish, also known as black cod.

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