Deep Sea Research and Technology Program 2018 Report to Congress
This biennial report to Congress summarizes the steps taken in 2016 and 2017 by NOAA to identify, monitor, and protect deep-sea coral areas, including the Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology Program’s research activities and results.
NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program, within NOAA Fisheries/Office of Habitat Conservation, uses innovative partnerships to leverage resources and provide the information needed to conserve deep-sea coral habitats. The Program was established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA §408), to identify, locate, and map deep-sea coral habitat in consultation with U.S. regional fishery management councils.
The MSA-requires a biennial report to Congress summarizing the steps taken by NOAA to identify, monitor, and protect deep-sea coral areas, including the Program’s research activities and results. The Program engages with the nation’s eight regional fishery management councils and collaborates on research with other federal agencies, international partners, and nongovernmental and academic scientists.
This report highlights the exciting discoveries of never-before-seen deep-sea coral habitats and new species found during the past two years (fiscal years 2016 and 2017), ranging from the middle of the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. These research activities include major fieldwork initiatives in the U.S. Pacific Islands and Southeast U.S., research within NOAA sanctuaries on the West Coast, targeted analyses of data, outreach, and expansion of the nation’s most comprehensive online database of deep-sea corals and sponges.