NOAA announced the release of the 2012 Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program Biennial Report to Congress. The Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program provides scientific information needed to conserve and manage deep-sea coral ecosystems.
New and currently unprotected deep-sea coral communities off the eastern and southern coasts of Florida are revealed in this report. These fragile habitats are home to a wide variety of species, some of which are commercially important. In addition to the discoveries off the southeastern U.S., scientists are exploring deep-sea coral and sponge habitats off the West Coast, documenting their importance for fish, and providing key information to fishery and National Marine Sanctuary managers.