[Coral-List] Greetings from the Amazon Reef
jhocevar at greenpeace.org
Sat Feb 4 05:48:32 EST 2017
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
For more info and images (and for a petition calling on a halt to
drilling), visithttps://amazonreefs.org/ <https://amazonreefs.org/>
Oceans Campaign Director
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