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Oceans: Science team reports new finds in Farallones Sanctuary

Corals, rockfish and sponges found at unprecedented depths

Black coral (Antipathes species) with a rosy rockfish in it on “Cochrane Bank,” -95 meters depth, 9.5° Celsius. This coral is two meters across and suspected to be at least 100 years old. The coral had many crabs and juvenile fish living in it. The stems/skeletons of black corals are black, but the living tissue is usually orange or white. Photo courtesy NOAA.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The foggy wave-torn coast of northern California may not seem like a haven for coral at first glance, but NOAA researchers say they’ve recently discovered a treasure trove of new deep sea habitats in the Gulf of Farallones Sanctuary, not far from San Francisco.

The area is a melting pot for deep sea corals, sponges, rockfish, and other species.

A partnership of federal and independent scientists found the rocky reef habitats in October in an area at depths  of up to 457 meters, where such corals and sponges had not been seen before. Continue reading

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