Soft coral garden found in Greenland deep-sea

A deep-sea coral garden ecosystem is discovered with an outstanding depth of 1500m by a scientist from UCL, Zoological Society London and Greenland. Scientists of the UK and Greenland have found the Greenland sea coral garden habitat the first kind of habitat that has been recognized using an inventive and low-cost deep-sea video camera.

The study has shown that the economically important deep-sea trawl fisheries are adjacent to the habitat. The researchers hope that the United Nation recognized the 486 Km2 regions under the ‘Vulnerable Marine ecosystem’ so that it can be preserved and maintained. The soft coral garden found by the Uk-Greenland team exists in total darkness and where the pressure is 50 times greater than at the surface.

Coral gardens are characterised by collections of one or more species, that sits on a wide range of hard and soft bottom habitats, from rock to sand, and support a diversity of fauna,’ said Chris Yesson of the Zoological Society of London. The gardens are made of non-reef coral species, spotlighting mainly cauliflower corals, sponges, anemones, brittle stars and hydrozoans and other organisms.

PhD. Researcher (UCL) and ZCL first authors said that despite our earth is covering about 70% of the deeps we hardly mapped it. The inventions of the low-cost tools carry numerous probabilities in discovering and maintaining marine ecosystems. Since discovering the deep-sea is very costly and difficult since the pressure increase by one atmosphere as we go 10m deep. However, the innovative and low-cost video camera is able to discover the new ecosystem where the pressures is fifty times greater than at the surface.

The researchers have successfully developed the towed video sled using a steel frame on which they mounted a GoPro video camera, lights and lasers to provide an understanding of scale (made by integrating high power laser pointer made by UCL’s Institute of Making) in pressure-proof housings. The video sledge which was made as of the size of mini copper-on the seafloor for around 15 minutes at a time took footage from 18 different sites across the seafloor taking out 1239 photos from the video footage for further investigation.

Me long said ‘A towed video sled is not unique. However, our research is certainly the first example of a low-cost DIY video sled led being used to explore deep-sea habitats in Greenland’s 2.2 million square kilometres of sea, ‘

Continued by Dr. Yesson saying “Given that the ocean is the biggest habitat on earth and the one about which we know the least, we think it is critically important ti develop cheap, accessible research tools. These tools can be used to explore, describe and crucially inform management of these deep-sea resources.”

Greenland virtually is unexplored, although more than 2000 enormous species have been known till now contributing in making complex and diverse habitats. Greenland’s economy depends on a small number of fishers trawls on the seabed despite knowing very less about the marine habitat and hoping that studies on the deep sea will increase the understanding of ecological relationship said by Mr.Martin Blitcher.

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