Deep water off the West coast of Greenland was home to the life-rich coral gardens. They are formed by sea anemones and soft cold-water corals that do not build reefs and are not fotosintesis. In an article for the journal Frontiers in Marine Science the authors of the open call to provide an unusual ecosystem protection from fishing networks.
Deep sea ecosystems are still poorly understood. However, many of them already suffer from human activities, e.g., mining and fishing trawls. One way to protect such communities — recognition of their vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMES). In recent years, the search for potential VMES intensified, however, because of the high cost of the equipment it covers only some parts of the World ocean.
A team of experts, headed by Steven long (Stephen Long) of University College London decided to find out whether the criteria of VMES underwater community off the coast of Greenland. The economy of this region based on fish and shrimp, however, the protection of marine ecosystems here yet established not too good.
Scientists focused on the deep waters of the Davis Strait that separates the Western coast of Greenland and Baffin island. In order to examine them, they used a specially designed apparatus consisting of remote-controlled bottom of the sleigh and fortified them GoPro camera. Its creation cost the team just five thousand dollars, which is relatively inexpensive by the standards of deep-sea technology.
Dives were conducted during two major expeditions in October 2018 and may 2019, as well as two shorter in 2017 and 2019. In total the unit was visited by 18 points at depths from 274 to 585 meters. During each dive produced movie of the substrate and its inhabitants.
On made apparatus records the scientists saw coral gardens with a high density of living organisms. Their species composition was markedly different depending on whether the substrate is hard or soft. The most numerous inhabitants of the bottom were sea anemones (the camera lens caught more than fifteen thousand individuals) and soft corals (more than eleven thousand meetings). In addition, underwater communities were found in the sponge and the bryozoans Alcyonidium gelatinosum. Some areas dominated by one or few species, while on other ecosystem was more diverse.