[Coral-List] Greetings from the Amazon Reef

John Hocevar jhocevar at greenpeace.org
Sat Feb 4 05:48:32 EST 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I'm on the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, working with a team of Brazilian 
scientists to explore a 600 mile long reef, much of which lies beneath 
the plume of the Amazon. Scientists have been aware that there was 
something out here since the 1970s. A paper published last year showing 
the massive scale of the reef got quite a lot of attention. After just a 
week of diving here, it appears that it may be even larger still. As you 
might imagine, we are finding quite a lot of surprises here.

This reef was formed at least in part by rhodoliths rather than corals, 
but has corals living on it. The mesophotic portion has quite a lot of 
black coral, and we have seen stony corals in shallower areas. One one 
dive (we are using a Dual DeepWorker submarine for our surveys), there 
was a dense field of soft corals covering over 90% of the substrate. 
There are quite a lot of reef associated species here, including 
parrotfish, angelfish, wrasses, damselfish, groupers, butterflyfish, etc.

As we just begin to try to understand this new biome, it is already 
under threat. BP and Total plan to drill for oil in the area as early as 
this spring.

For more info and images (and for a petition calling on a halt to 
drilling), visithttps://amazonreefs.org/ <https://amazonreefs.org/>

John Hocevar
Oceans Campaign Director
Greenpeace USA

More information about the Coral-List mailing list