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Asunto:[LEA-Venezuela] Scientists' Statement on Protecting the World's Deep-sea Coral and Sponge Ecosystems
Fecha:Jueves, 12 de Febrero, 2004  05:57:22 (-0400)
Autor:Jorge Hinestroza <vitae3 @..........ve>

1,136 Scientists Call for Protection of Deep-Sea Corals

 

Scientists' Statement on Protecting the World's Deep-sea Coral

As marine scientists and conservation biologists, we are profoundly concerned that human activities, particularly bottom trawling, are causing unprecedented damage to the deep-sea coral and sponge communities on continental plateaus and slopes, and on seamounts and mid-ocean ridges.

 
Shallow-water coral reefs are sometimes called "the rainforests of the sea" for their extraordinary biological diversity, perhaps the highest anywhere on Earth. However, until quite recently, few people - even marine scientists - knew that the majority of coral species live in colder, darker depths, or that some of these form coral reefs and forests similar to those of shallow waters in appearance, species richness and importance to fisheries. Lophelia coral reefs in cold waters of the Northeast Atlantic have over 1,300 species of invertebrates, and over 850 species of macro- and megafauna were recently found on seamounts in the Tasman and Coral Seas, as many as in a shallow-water coral reef. Because seamounts are essentially undersea islands, many seamount species are endemics - species that occur nowhere else - and are therefore exceptionally vulnerable to extinction. Moreover, marine scientists have observed large numbers of commercially important but increasingly uncommon groupers and redfish among the sheltering structures of deep-sea coral reefs. Finally, because of their longevity, some deep-sea corals can serve as archives of past climate conditions that are important to understanding global climate change. In short, based on current knowledge, deep-sea coral and sponge communities appear to be as important to the biodiversity of the oceans and the sustainability of fisheries as their analogues in shallow tropical seas.
In recent years scientists have discovered deep-sea corals and/or coral reefs in Japan, Tasmania, New Zealand, Alaska, California, Nova Scotia, Maine, North Carolina, Florida, Colombia, Brazil, Norway, Sweden, UK, Ireland and Mauritania. Because research submarines and remotely operated vehicles suitable for studying the deep sea are few and expensive to operate, scientific investigation of these remarkable communities is in its very early stages. But it is increasingly clear that deep-sea corals usually inhabit places where natural disturbance is rare, and where growth and reproduction appear to be exceedingly slow. Deep-sea corals and sponges may live for centuries, making them and the myriad species that depend on them extremely slow to recover from disturbance.
Unfortunately, just as scientists have begun to understand the diversity, importance and vulnerability of deep-sea coral forests and reefs, humans have developed technologies that profoundly disturb them. There is reason for concern about deep-sea oil and gas development, deep-sea mining and global warming, but, at present, the greatest human threat to coral and sponge communities is commercial fishing, especially bottom trawling. Trawlers are vessels that drag large, heavily weighted nets across the seafloor to catch fishes and shrimps. Scientific studies around the world have shown that trawling is devastating to corals and sponges. As trawlers become more technologically sophisticated, and as fishes disappear from shallower areas, trawling is increasingly occurring at depths exceeding 1,000 meters.

It is not too late to save most of the world's deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems. We commend nations including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Norway, which have already taken initial steps towards protecting some coral and sponge ecosystems under their jurisdiction. We urge the United Nations and appropriate international bodies to establish a moratorium on bottom trawling on the High Seas. Similarly, we urge individual nations and states to ban bottom trawling to protect deep-sea ecosystems wherever coral forests and reefs are known to occur within their Exclusive Economic Zones. We urge them to prohibit roller and rockhopper trawls and any similar technologies that allow fishermen to trawl on the rough bottoms where deep-sea coral and sponge communities are most likely to occur. We urge them to support research and mapping of vulnerable deep-sea coral and sponge communities. And we urge them to establish effective, representative networks of marine protected areas that include deep-sea coral and sponge communities.


The following have signed the Scientists' Statement on Protecting the World's Deep-sea Coral and Sponge Ecosystems. Affiliations are for identification only, and do not imply endorsement by the signers' institutions.

Tony Koslow, Ph.D., CSIRO Marine Research, Western Australia, Australia
André Freiwald, Prof. Dr., Institute of Paleontology, Erlangen, Germany
Edward O. Wilson, Ph.D., Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA
Sylvia A. Earle, Ph.D., Conservation International, California, USA
Norman Myers, Ph.D., University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Michael Soulé, Ph.D., University of California-Santa Cruz, California, USA
Robert Paine, Ph.D., University of Washington, Washington state, USA
Daniel Pauly, Ph.D., University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada
Rainer Froese, Ph.D., Institute of Marine Research, Kiel, Germany
Jarl-Ove Strömberg, Professor, Kristineberg Marine Biological Station, Fiskebäckskil, Sweden
D. James Baker, Ph.D., Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
George Branch, Ph.D., University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa
Callum Roberts, Ph.D., University of York, York, UK
Hjalmar Thiel, Prof. Dr., University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Stephen Hall, Ph.D., Australian Institute of Marine Science, Queensland, Australia
Jeremy Jackson, Ph.D., University of California San Diego, California, USA
Bill Ballantine, Ph.D., University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
George H. Leonard, Ph.D., Monterey Bay Aquarium, California, USA
Vera Alexander, Ph.D., University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
Reed F. Noss, Ph.D., University of Central Florida, Florida, USA
Rod Salm, Ph.D., The Nature Conservancy, Hawaii, USA
George M. Woodwell, Ph.D., The Woods Hole Research Center, Massachusetts, USA
John Harte, Ph.D., University of California - Berkeley, California, USA
Jorge Soberon, Ph.D., Instituto de Ecologia - UNAM, México City, México
Carlos Saavedra, Ph.D., Inst. Acuicultura de Torre la Sal - CSIC, Castellon, Spain
Stuart L. Pimm, Ph.D., Duke University, North Carolina, USA
J. Veron, M.Sc., Ph.D, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Australia
Ussif Rashid Sumaila, Ph.D., University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia
Theo Colborn, Ph.D., World Wildlife Fund, Washington DC, USA
Paul R. Ehrlich, Ph.D., Stanford University, California, USA
Anne Ehrlich, Ph.D., Stanford University, California, USA
Francesc Giró, M.Sc., Fundación Natura, Barcelona, Spain
John Terborgh, Ph.D., Duke University, North Carolina, USA
James Barry, Ph.D., Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, California, USA
Hugh Possingham, D.Phil., The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Terence Done, Ph.D., Australian Institute of Marine Science, Queensland, Australia
Phil Alderslade, Ph.D., Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia
Marta Estrada, Ph.D., Institut de Ciencies del Mar, Catalunya, Spain
Peter Raven, Ph.D., Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri, USA
John K. Reed, M.Sc., Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Florida, USA
Karen Stocks, Ph.D., University of California San Diego, California, USA
Graeme Kelleher, B.E., WCPA, Canberra, Australia
Verena Tunnicliffe, Ph.D., University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Michael Risk, Ph.D., McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
David W. Inouye, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Maryland, USA
Nick Polunin, Ph.D., Newcastle University School of Marine Science & Technology, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
P. Dee Boersma, Ph.D., University of Washington, Washington state, USA
Boris Worm, Ph.D., Institute for Marine Science, Kiel, Germany
Peter Auster, Ph.D., University of Connecticut, Connecticut, USA
Ransom Myers, Ph.D., Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada
Anson H. Hines, Ph.D., Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Maryland, USA
Sandra Brooke, Ph.D., Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, OR, USA
Lisa Levin, Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, California, USA
Rodrigo Bustamante, Ph.D., Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Gert Wörheide, Prof. Dr., GZG Geobiology, Göttingen, Germany
J. Frederick Grassle, Ph.D., Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
John Gray, Ph.D., University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Jason Hall-Spencer, Ph.D., University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
George Somero, Ph.D., Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, California, USA
Richard Bromley, Ph.D., University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Giovanni Bearzi, Ph.D., Tethys Research Institute, Milano, Italy
Manfred Krautter, Prof. Dr., Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
Alex Rogers, Ph.D., British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK
John Gage, Ph.D., Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Oban, Scotland
Erdal Ozhan, Ph.D., Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
Jose Orensanz, Ph.D., Centro Nacional Patagónico, Chubut, Argentina
Ana Parma, Ph.D., Centro Nacional Patagónico, Chubut, Argentina
Richard Kenchington, D.Sc., University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Alan White, Ph.D., Tetra Tech EM Inc, Cebu City, Philippines
Edgardo Gomez, Ph.D., University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines
Anthony Charles, Ph.D., Saint Mary's University, Nova Scotia, Canada
Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, Ph.D., Tethys Research Institute, Milano, Italy
Amanda Vincent, Ph.D., University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada
Paul K. Dayton, Ph.D., University of California San Diego, California, USA
Michael Rex, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts-Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Larry Crowder, Ph.D., Duke University, North Carolina, USA
Les Watling, Ph.D., University of Maine, Maine, USA
Helene Marsh, Ph.D., James Cook University, Queensland, Australia
Fiorenza Micheli, Ph.D., Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, California, USA
James Estes, Ph.D., US Geological Survey, California, USA
Elva Escobar Briones, Ph.D., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, D.F., Mexico
Elisa Berdalet i Andrés, Ph.D., Institut de Ciències del Mar, Barcelona, Spain
Alex Aguilar, Ph.D., Universidad de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
James Carlton, Ph.D., Williams College-Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, USA
Anne Kapuscinski, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minnesota, USA
John Brodie Wilson, Ph.D., Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK
Kostas Kiriakoulakis, Ph.D., University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
Marie-Cecile Le Goff-Vitry, Ph.D., Southhampton University, Southampton, UK
Anthony Grehan, Ph.D., National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Marco Taviani, Ph.D., Istituto di Scienze Marine, Sezione Geologia Marina, CNR, Bologna, Italy
Anneleen Foubert, Ph.D., University of Ghent, Gent, Belgium
Matthias López Correa, Ph.D., Erlangen University, Erlangen, Germany
Sebastiano Di Geronimo, Ph.D., Università de Catania, Catania, Italy
Martin White, Ph.D., National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Martin Hovland, Ph.D., Statoil, Stavanger, Norway
Dierk Hebbeln, Ph.D., Universität Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Nadiezhda Santodomingo, Ph.D., INVEMAR, Santa Marta, Colombia
Jeremy Colman, Ph.D., Woodside Energy, Perth, Australia
Helmut Lehnert, Ph.D., Thetis-IBN, Hamburg, Germany
Evan Edinger, Ph.D., Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland, Canada
J. Murray Roberts, Ph.D., Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban, UK
Marc Lavaleye, Ph.D., Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Den Burg - Texel, the Netherlands
Mark Tasker, Ph.D., Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Aberdeen, UK
Andy Wheeler, Ph.D., University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Carl Safina, Ph.D., Blue Oceans Institute, New York, USA
Michael Orbach, Ph.D., Duke University, North Carolina, USA
Martin Willison, Ph.D., Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada
Charles Peterson, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
John Avise, Ph.D., University of Georgia, Georgia, USA
Karen Eckert, Ph.D., Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network, California, USA
Ratana Chuenpagdee, Ph.D., Coastal Development Centre, Bangkok, USA
James Powell, Ph.D., Wildlife Trust, Florida, USA
Gregory Stone, Ph.D., New England Aquarium, Massachusetts, USA
John Teal, Ph.D., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Massachusetts, USA
Robert Livingston, Ph.D., Florida State University, Florida, USA
Sally Murphy, M.Sc., South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina, USA
Laurence D. Mee, Ph.D., University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
John Ogden, Ph.D., Florida Institute of Oceanography, Florida, USA
Michael Hirshfield, Ph.D., Oceana, Washington DC, USA
Allen Andrews, M.S., Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, California, USA
Amy Baco-Taylor, Ph.D. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts, USA
Mark Costello, Ph.D., The Huntsman Marine Science Center, New Brunswick, Canada
William Schroeder, Ph.D., University of Alabama, Alabama, USA
Kevin Strychar, Ph.D., Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada
Kirsten Martin, M.Sc., IUCN, Gland, Switzerland
Onno Gross, Ph.D. Deepwave Inc., Hamburg, Germany
Pablo J. Lopez-Gonzalez, Ph.D., University of Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain
R. Scott Carr, Ph.D., US Geological Survey, Texas, USA
Owen Sherwood, Ph.D. candidate, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada
Jim Silliman, Ph.D., Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
Hermann Ehrlich, Ph.D., Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany
Robert George, Ph. D., George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability, North Carolina, USA
Mark Hixon, Ph.D., Oregon State University, Oregon, USA
Carolyn Lundquist, Ph.D., National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Hamilton, New Zealand
Walt Jaap, Ph.D., Florida Marine Research Institute & Lithophyte Research, Florida, USA
John Tunnell, Jr., Ph.D., Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
Judith C. Lang, Ph.D., independent, Virginia, USA
James E. Maragos, Ph.D., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawaii, USA
John Pearse, Ph.D., University of California-Santa Cruz, California, USA
Enric Sala, Ph.D., University of California-San Diego, California, USA
Stephen D. Cairns, Ph.D., Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA
Alan D. Thornhill, Ph.D., Society for Conservation Biology, Virginia, USA
Simon Thrush, Ph.D., National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Hamilton, New Zealand
Robert R. Warner, Ph.D., University of California- Santa Barbara, California, USA
Donald F. Boesch, Ph.D., University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Maryland, USA
Christopher C. Koenig, Ph.D., Florida State University, Florida, USA
Richard, Ph.D., University of York, York, UK
Richard L. Haedrich, Ph.D., Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada
Melanie L. J. Stiassny, Ph.D., American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA
Steve Gaines, Ph.D., University of California- Santa Barbara, California, USA
Lorenzo Rojas Bracho, Ph.D., Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE), Ensenada, Mexico
Richard C. Brusca, Ph.D., Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum/University of Arizona, Arizona, USA
Gregor M. Cailliet, Ph.D., Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, California, USA
Thomas C. Shirley, Ph.D., University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
John P Croxall, Ph.D, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK
John L. Largier, Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, California, USA
Joel E. Cohen, Ph.D., Dr.P.H., Rockefeller & Columbia Universities, New York, USA
Gary E. Davis, M.Sc., U. S. National Park Service, California, USA
Karl W. Flessa, Ph.D., University of Arizona, Arizona, USA
Luis E. Calderon-Aguilera, Ph.D., Center Scientific Research & Graduate Studies of Ensenada, Baja California Norte, Mexico
Richard H. Rosenblatt, Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, California, USA
Valerie Allain, Ph.D., Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia
Raymond L. Hayes, Ph.D., Howard University, DC, USA
Thomas J. Goreau, Ph.D., Global Coral Reef Alliance, Massachusetts, USA
Chang-feng Dai, Ph.D., National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Tim McLanahan, Ph.D., The Wildlife Conservation Society, Mombasa, Kenya
Jean Harris, Ph.D., Ezenvelo KZN Wildlife, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Juan Carlos Castilla, Ph.D., Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
J.K. Patterson Edward, Ph.D, Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute, Tamil Nadu, India
Felicia Coleman, Ph.D., Florida State University, Florida, USA
Judith S. Weis, Ph.D., Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
Ana Oliveira, M.Sc., Fisheries and Sea Research Institute, Lisbon, Portugal
Eric Knudsen, Ph.D., Consulting Fisheries Scientist, Washington, USA
Debbie Spring, M.Sc., NOAA Fisheries, Washington, USA
Lorena Lara-Bolaños, M.Sc. candidate, UNED- Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica
Graça Bauleth D'Almeida, M.Sc., Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Swakopmund, Namibia
Musa Mhagama, B.Sc., Local Government Authority, Town Council, Mtwara, Tanzania
Dalit Ucitel, M.Sc., The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Kibbutz Ketura, Israel
Benjamin Kahn, M.Sc., APEX Environmental, Bali, Indonesia
Daniel Brito, M.Sc., Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
B. Munkhtsog, Ph.D. candidate, Wildlife Biologist, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Asma Trabelsi, M.Sc. Marine Ecology, Tunis, Tunisia
Gary K. Meffe, Ph.D., University of Florida, Florida, USA
Ron Etter, Ph.D., University if Massachusetts - Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Craig R. Smith, Ph.D., Unversity of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii, USA
Paul Snelgrove, Ph.D., Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland, Canada
Jon A. Moore, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, Florida, USA
Robert C. Vrijenhoek, Ph.D., Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, USA
Andrew A. Rosenberg, Ph.D., University of New Hampshire, New Hampshire, USA
Frederick M. Bayer, Ph.D., National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC, USA
Lance Morgan, Ph.D., Marine Conservation Biology Institute, California, USA
Elliott Norse, Ph.D., Marine Conservation Biology Institute, Washington state, USA

Click here to view more signatures


If you are a scientist either holding or working towards a post-graduate degree in conservation biology or marine science (i.e., Master's or Doctoral degree ), or employed as a scientist in conservation biology, marine science or a closely related field, and wish to join the many who have already signed this statement, please use the form below to submit your signature.

A number of scientists have inquired whether they may forward this statement to their fellow-scientists and seek signatures from the latter. We certainly welcome more support for the protection of deep-sea corals and sponges, and would greatly appreciate your spreading the word. Please feel free to forward this webpage to your colleagues.

 

To submit your signature, please see the form at: http://www.mcbi.org/DSC_statement/sign.htm