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Beneath our sparkling blue ocean waters lives a whole world of stunning anemones, sponges and deep sea corals that can live hundreds or sometimes thousands of years.  A myriad of fishes, octopi, clams, shrimps, and other sea life spend their lives in this nourishing and sheltering habitat, safe from predators. Unfortunately, many of these recently discovered undersea treasures off the West Coast are at risk, and we need your help to keep these species-rich places from California to Washington intact. Click here to ask the Pacific Fishery Managers to remove threats to our ocean bottom.


Photo of a gorgeous deep sea coral garden. Source: Jodi Pirtle/Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Since 1996 the Marine Conservation Institute has been working hard to protect critical seafloor environments. But it only takes an instant for bottom trawlers to destroy it when they drag heavy nets across the ocean floor, "plowing" up the environment while they try to catch 'bottom fish' or 'ground fish' for our consumption. Pacific rockfishes, cod, halibut, hake, and Dover sole are just a few of the dozens and dozens of species caught with bottom trawl nets, which pull up not just fish, but their habitat, and leave a trail of destruction behind on the ocean floor. 


Photo of the seafloor and habitat destroyed after being bottom trawled. Source: NOAA

Right now we need your help to protect these important Pacific Ocean areas from the devastation of bottom trawling. Visual surveys for these fragile habitats are expensive and difficult to conduct across vast ocean areas. Here at the Marine Conservation Institute, we have led the field in predicting the places that need protection through specialized computer models. Now that we've located those special places we need you to tell the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect these delicate bottom environments and their host of wondrous creatures from damaging fishing, ensuring their continued existence. Please Click Here For Our Petition.


Your support has been instrumental to past conservation successes. Our science and advocacy AND your petitions to government agencies have protected deep sea corals from Monterey Bay to the waters surrounding the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, and from the offshore banks along Florida and Georgia coasts to the Gulf of Mexico. With your help, we can protect these Pacific coast gems as well. 


In 1998, our Board member Dr. Les Watling and our Founder Dr. Elliott Norse published the first scientific paper equating bottom trawling to forest clear-cutting and started the global movement to curtail this destructive fishing technique. Now, it is the world's most-cited paper on fishing gear impacts. Despite successes over the past 15 years, the fight isn't over yet. As we learn more about these true ocean gems off the Pacific coast, we must ensure that they are protected before their corals and wonderful wildlife are destroyed. Please Go to Our Petition.

Thank you sincerely, 


 Lance Morgan Signature  

Lance E. Morgan, Ph.D.
President and CEO