Atlantic Coral Reefs Win Protection by New Law voted by The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, according to Reuters.
Over 90,650 square kilometers of ocean, from Long Island, New York to the southern border of Virginia, will be protected by this new law. It was US authorities who approved The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s proposal to ban bottom-tending fishing in the US Atlantic Coast.
Couple of days ago, Google Streetview project offered the chance to observe the hidden world of the ocean, by allowing 20 underwater cameras to explore the hidden barrier of reefs. The project was beneficial to both environmentalists and biologists who were able to detect and note the marine life’s modifications that could have lately occurred.
The new law could become active in the beginning of 2016 and will under its protection unique habitats from the area mentioned earlier. Deep water corals of Georgia, Florida and South Caroline also got law protection in 2010.
The scientists are aiming at bringing to light new species that have not yet been discovered and are warning against human intervention that could destroy them. Environmentalists are pressuring for the law to go beyond the area already protected and to be applied to a larger part of the Atlantic.
The role of deep sea corals is presently being studied, according to Gib Brogan, fisheries campaign manager for Oceana, an environmental non-profit based in Washington. These corals grow hundreds of meters deep into the sea ecosystem and are also related to jellyfish.
“They provide shelter and cover and they are the subject of an emerging field of biomedical research,” Brogan said.
The corals are able to form an ecosystem that supports various species of marine life. Squid fishery or other commercial activity is a threat to corals, and if damaged, they recover slowly.
Organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration strive to issue ocean water regulations between 3 and 200 kilometers from the shore. But because regulations such as these must follow federal rules, and because not all activities are regulated by the same governmental agency, improvement toward making oceans safe and protected is low.
Earlier in 2015 the US president allowed drilling in one of the regions of the Atlantic that is part of the protected area.
The law is definitely a step forward for the Atlantic ocean and its mysterious life, and it might seem that environmentalists won the battle, yet there is a long way for the coral life to win the war.
Image Source: Captken