NOAA Fisheries has officially announced the final rule implementing Amendment 9 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Coral Reef Resources in the Gulf of Mexico – effective November 16, 2020.
Brooke Laboratory in the News
A plan to protect corals in the Gulf of Mexico is close to becoming a law, drawing cheers from environmental groups who believe leaving the corals alone would help vulnerable ocean ecosystems to grow.
Hydrodynamics and Habitat Suitability for Meiofauna And Corals (HydroSMAC) Florida State's Coastal and Marine Laboratory is excited to announce that a few of our own faculty members embarked on an exciting research mission in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. From October 1st to 10th, a team of scientists from Florida State University (FSU), Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) and NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), sailed aboard the Research Vessel Point Sur and used the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Global Explorer to study benthic communities off the West Florida Escarpment (WFE).
Human interest in the marine environment originally focused on the highly productive coastal zone, where food and energy resources were readily available. The deep sea was left in relative peace. Over time, we began to use up our coastal resources and started looking further offshore for unexploited fish stocks and oil reserves. This industry migration precipitated the need to understand the distribution and sensitivities of deep-sea ecosystems to prevent damage from human activities.
Scientific Diving has been taught at Florida State University since the inception of the Academic Diving Program in the 1970’s. Thanks to the work of FSU faculty including Dr. William F. “Doc” Herrnkind, a training program evolved focused on enabling student, faculty and staff research diving operations. January 9th, 2019, marks the 3rd time the training will be conducted under Diving Safety Officer Christopher Peters in a workshop entitled Introduction to Scientific Diving.
When people think of coral reefs, they typically picture warm, clear waters with brightly colored corals and fishes. But other corals live in deep, dark, cold waters, often far from shore in remote locations. These varieties are just as ecologically important as their shallow water counterparts.
The Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, on the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) coast in north Florida, is a beautiful place. It is not uncommon there to see ospreys and bald eagles eyeing the coastline, pelican formations flying low, dolphins churning the water in a feeding frenzy or sharks cruising the shallows seeking out their next meal. It is also a place where a clear view of the horizon when standing on the beach is the rule, rather than the exception.
FSUCML’s Dr Sandra Brooke is part of a research team that discovered a giant coral reef about 160 miles off of Charleston, South Carolina. The reef is a half mile below the ocean surface and is estimated to run for at least 85 linear miles. These corals could be hundreds of thousands of years old. “It’s kind of thrown my mental image of what the reef out here looks like for a loop” says Dr. Brooke. Dr. Brooke was among team members on Friday-8/24- who dove in the sub Alvin to see this new reef. She stated it was an “incredible” surprise to find so much live coral in the area. A reporter for the Huffington Post is aboard the R/V Atlantis. To read his article, click the title above to learn more about this amazing discovery. Also, to learn more about the ongoing research trip and live blogs from the scientists click here: https://marinelab.fsu.edu/news-around-the-lab/deep-search-2018-deep-sea-exploration
From August 19 to September 2, 2018, FSUCML's Dr. Sandra Brooke is part of a research expedition sailing on the R/V Atlantis (Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst.) with the submersible ALVIN. The cruise is led by Erik Cordes (Temple University) and includes participants from several universities, the US Geological Survey, NOAA and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as well as media representatives. The cruise will collect critical baseline data on deep-water coral, canyons and cold seep habitats offshore the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern US, to inform management and conservation of these sensitive deep-water ecosystems. At the link below, follow this expedition with daily mission logs and amazing pictures taken from ALVIN’s eyes on the seafloor.