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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 397:355-360 (2009)  -  DOI:

The alphabet soup that protects cold-water corals in the North Atlantic

Robert Brock1,*, Elizabethann English2, Ellen Kenchington3, Mark Tasker4

1NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Science and Technology, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, USA
2NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of International Affairs, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, USA
3Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 1 Challenger Drive, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 4A2, Canada
4Joint Nature Conservation Committee, 7 Thistle Place, Aberdeen AB10 1UZ, UK

ABSTRACT: Canada, the European Union, and the United States, amongst others, recognize the importance of habitat-forming biota such as cold-water corals to a host of associated ecologically and/or commercially important species including fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. These species and the ecological services they provide are important to the peoples surrounding the North Atlantic (i.e. the Atlantic Ocean north of the equator). There are several different legal and/or regulatory tools available to ensure that cold-water corals in the North Atlantic are protected along with the ecological services they provide. Through such tools, many protected areas have been designated or are under consideration in the North Atlantic to protect cold-water coral habitats. Although the designation and labeling varies, e.g. National Marine Conservation Area (Canada), Special Area of Conservation (European Union), or Habitat Area of Particular Concern (USA), all of these designations aim to provide protection into the future to vulnerable habitats like cold-water corals.

KEY WORDS: Habitat protection · Cold-water corals · Vulnerable marine ecosystems · Marine protected areas · Biodiversity · North Atlantic

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Cite this article as: Brock R, English E, Kenchington E, Tasker M (2009) The alphabet soup that protects cold-water corals in the North Atlantic. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 397:355-360.

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