Wonders Of The Deep

Many wondrous species live beneath the ocean, in a spectacular landscape that few of us every get to see. One of the species currently under threat is the deep-sea coral reef.

Coral reefs, contrary to popular belief, are actually living creatures that support entire ecosystems beneath the water. Coral reefs are very much alive, not only with the species that they sustain, but alive themselves as an animal within the ecosystem. These life-sustaining creatures face a great deal of danger from deep sea trawling. These reefs are slow-growing, fragile, and slow to recover. Thus, with a single pass of a fishing trawl, an entire reef-based ecosystem can be damaged or destroyed for centuries. Trawling occurs around the world; one example comes from Alaskan trawlers who pulled up "nearly a million pounds of coral and sponges per year from 1997-1999" (Oceana, 2005). Do our consumption habits really require that we do such damage to such wonders of the deep?

Destructive Trawling

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