Discover kilometers of coral reefs near Curacao

Discover kilometers of coral reefs near Curacao

nature

Discover kilometers of coral reefs near Curacao

Coral in Curacao for illustration | Photo: Benjamin Mueller

A newly discovered coral reef off the island of Curacao offers hope for marine life

Texel – Researchers from the Royal Netherlands Institute for Marine Research (NIOZ) recently made an important discovery in deep waters near Curaçao. An extensive, undamaged reef, notable for its health and size, was found at a greater depth than the usual reefs surrounding the island. ANP reports this.

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The discovery was made during an expedition that originally lasted three weeks, but details of the discovery were kept secret for a long time. The reason for this was the fear that disclosure would lead to damage caused by human activities. Only after careful analysis of the video footage collected did the researchers decide to publish their findings.

Lennart de Noijer, one of the researchers at NIOZ, emphasizes the uniqueness of this discovery. Unlike shallow coral reefs that are often affected by pollution and climate change, these deeper coral reefs appear to be less vulnerable to such threats. De Noijer explains that deeper corals have a different composition and lower species diversity, but they are not necessarily less colorful. This newly discovered coral reef, located at a depth of more than 100 metres, shows no signs of the bleaching that affects many shallow coral reefs.

Although the exact size of the reef is not yet known, it is already clear that it is kilometers long. De Noijer and his team expect there is much more to be discovered. Although the current research program is complete, De Noijer does not rule out further research in the future, perhaps including the installation of measuring instruments.

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Research fellow Foro Menes stresses the importance of protecting these deep-sea areas while they remain intact. This would eliminate the need for future restoration work and help maintain a healthy coral ecosystem.

Before summer 2024Before summer 2024

This discovery is important not only for the scientific community, but also for global efforts to protect and preserve coral reef biodiversity.


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