Protecting the deep sea coral reefs of the Mediterranean
Did you know that there are deep-sea coral reefs? Exactly, there are coral reefs which are found even further down than 1000 meters below sea-level, even in the Mediterranean Sea . Incredible, isn't it? Unfortunately, a lot of these have been degraded or are threatened by man's actions, especially by certain fishing practises. In fact the most dangerous form of fishing that threatens these beautiful ecosystems is bottom trawling. This destructive technique uses heavy nets that are simply dragged along the seabed, completely destroying it in one single trawl.
Luckily, there is hope for three of these Mediterranean deep-sea coral reefs. These are: a rare white coral reef off Capo Santa Maria di Leuca in the Ionian Sea; a chemosynthesis-based reef (meaning that it does not depend on the sun as a source of energy) offshore from the Nile Delta; and the Eratosthenes seamount (an underwater mountain) located south of Cyprus and home to some rare coral species.