This week on Moir's Environmental Dialogue Rob spoke with Alexander Zamarro. Alex is ORI's Fall Intern, a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a resident of Worcester.
We talked about protecting essential fish habitats in the Atlantic Ocean for oil, gas and mineral mining. This undersea area includes Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine, five canyons of the continental slope waters off Georges Bank and four blue water seamounts. Cashes Ledge has lush kelp forests with six foot fronds and an indigenous cod that is red in color, not gray. This underwater mountain range has four distinct ocean floor (benthic) habitats. Gravel ocean floors are essential habitat for the demersal fish: cod, haddock, pollock and hake. Sandy bottom has monkfish that bury into it and lure fish in. The muddy bottom areas are where Acadian redfish and sea anemones live. Finally there are boulder reefs where lurk the toothy wolfish. We know Cashes Ledge is of great ecological importance because at times there are more humpback whales feeding there than anywhere else.
Oceanographer Canyon and four further east are where sperm live and feed on squid. Further offshore are four pristine deep seamounts, each with its own distinctive assemblage of deep sea corals and marine life. To listen to Alex and Rob, click here.