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Coral catastrophe on the Corner Rise Seamounts

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A research team has found that deep-sea coral communities that provide lush habitats for fish and other marine life have been extensively damaged, mostly likely by deep-sea fishing trawlers, atop two undersea mountains in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The research team-Rhian Waller, a biologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Les Watling from the University of Maine and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Peter Auster from the University of Connecticut, and Timothy Shank of WHOI-set out in 2005 to explore coral communities on the Corner Rise Seamounts, a cluster of about 20 ancient flat-topped volcanoes at least a half-mile below the sea surface and 1,240 miles away from shore in the northwest Atlantic.

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