Oculina Coral Banks of Florida: Conservation and management of a deep-water reserve.

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Oculina Coral Banks of Florida: Conservation and management of a deep-water reserve.

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Title: Oculina Coral Banks of Florida: Conservation and management of a deep-water reserve.
Author: Reed, JK
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: In 1975, during photographic surveys of the continental shelf using the Johnson-Sea-Link Research Submersible, scientists from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution discovered high relief pinnacles at depths of 70-100 m that were living coral reefs composed entirely of the ivory tree coral Oculina varicosa. Various research ensued including studies on coral growth rates, community structure of associated invertebrates and fishes, effects of upwelling, bioerosion, sediments, geology, and taxonomic studies of fish, decapods, mollusks, echinoderms, sipunculids, pycnogonids, and amphipods. During the 1970s these deep-water reefs were teaming with large populations of grouper, snapper, and amberjack. Fishing pressure from both commercial and recreational fishermen was intense, and by the early 1990s the fish populations and the coral had been severely impacted. Legislation in 2000 designated a 300 nmF (1029 km2 ) Oculina Coral Bank Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) which prohibits use of anchors, bottom trawls, bottom longlines, dredges, fish traps and pots (Figure 1).
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/8959
Date: 2000

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