Monday, May 5, 2008

Prevent Coral Extinction!

This image is of lophelia wanna know more?

Speak up to Urge Swift Action
to Prevent Extinction!

A student and I were talking today about her summer plans. She is becoming a scuba diving instructor and is interested in coral reef preservation and hopes to end up in the Phillipines working with coral reef preservation groups there. I told her about how I adore red coral, but have made a personal vow to not use it in my jewelry anymore. She and I talked more and she mentioned the upcoming South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s public hearing the 15th in New Bern. Evidently a proposal is being voted on to protect thousands of square miles of coral reef from the Keys to Cape Hatteras. This is reef area already ravaged by trawling and pollution.

The following is from information sent out by Oceana

Thousands of square miles of deep sea coral habitat in
the South Atlantic is threatened with damage and
extinction, unless the South Atlantic Fisheries
Management Council (SAFMC) votes to protect them.
At the upcoming June meeting in Orlando, the SAFMC
has the opportunity to make a final decision to set aside
24,000 square miles of deep sea coral “habitat of particular
concern” (HAPC). Before the June meeting, the Council
has set dates for public hearings at satellite locations
throughout the southeast so citizen voices can be heard.

“Deep sea coral beds are cradles of marine life,” said
Oceana Campaign Director Dave Allison. “We now
have the choice to either protect these areas as a part
of our natural legacy or to leave these unique habitats
vulnerable to destruction. In just a few minutes, a
destructive bottom trawler can sweep through and
destroy a coral reef hundreds of years old.”

North Carolina
These distinctive reefs are the
northernmost deep reefs in the
eastern US. Over 54 species of fish
have been observed on the Cape
Lookout Banks.

South Carolina
Covering the peaks of Stetson Reef
are live bushes of Lophelia coral,
sponges, sea fans, and black coral.
Fish and an abundance of brittle
stars, sea urchins, hydroids, sea
anemones and soft corals have
been identified in this area.

The Savannah Lithotherms rise 100
- 200 feet tall at 1800 feet deep
just 90 nautical miles east of
Savannah along the Blake Plateau.
This reef system supports large
populations of massive sponges and
over ten different fish species
including swordfish and sharks.

With the longest coastline, Florida
enjoys three main deep coral reef
sites that provide habitat for an
array of marine life, from commercially
valuable groupers to intricate

Dates and places:
Comments may be made between 3:00-7:00pm

May 7, 2008
Key Largo Grande
97000 South Overseas
Key Largo, FL 33037
Phone: 866-597-5397

May 9, 2008
Radisson Resort at the Port
8701 Astronaut Boulevard
Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
Phone: 321-784-0000

May 12, 2008
Mighty Eighth
Air Force Museum
175 Bourne Avenue
Pooler, GA 31322
Phone: 912-748-8888

May 13, 2008
Town and Country Inn
2008 Savannah Highway
Charleston, SC 29407
Phone: 843-571-1000

May 15, 2008
Sheraton New Bern
100 Middle Street
New Bern, NC 28560
Phone: 252-638-3585

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