Skip to content

Inside the Fight to Save Underwater Volcanoes

Featured image: An orange basket star covers a Picasso sponge at Davidson Seamount, California. Image courtesy of NOAA and MBARI. The deep sea harbors the greatest number of species and ecosystems on Earth. Within this vast realm, the dazzling submerged volcanoes called seamounts are among the most diverse places of all. Scientists have long recognized that…

Read More

If not now, when? Conserving Seamounts on a Global Scale

Seamounts are massive underwater volcanoes that occur across the planet. They attract and support large numbers of animals including fish, sharks, sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals at the surface and shelter an incredible array of deep-sea life, including cold-water corals and sponges that build crucial structures, or ‘homes’, for large amounts of marine life on the bottom. These habitats are the ‘old-growth forests’ of the ocean – they are long-lived, slow growing, and extremely slow to recover following disturbance from activities like bottom trawling or seabed mining. Of the 10,000 plus seamounts known to exist, only around 10% are protected from some type of destruction. Marine Conservation Institute has a campaign to protect the 60 seamounts off the coast of California and is working with partners to protect many more around the world.

Read More

Davidson Seamount: A Deep-Sea Oasis

Featured Pic: Yellow Picasso sponge and white sponges on Davidson Seamount. Image courtesy of NOAA and MBARI. By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute   Davidson Seamount is an underwater volcano located just 75 miles off the coast of California. Its summit rises an impressive 7500 feet above the surrounding seafloor, yet still remains…

Read More

Denizens of the Deep: The Octopuses Who Make Their Homes on Seamounts

Featured Pic: A giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) observed on Cordell Bank during a Marine Conservation Institute and Marine Applied Research & Exploration (MARE) cruise off the coast of northern California. Photo credit: MARE and NOAA. By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute Octopuses are seriously cool creatures. They can rapidly change the color…

Read More

5 Reasons Seamounts Matter

Seamounts are underwater mountains that rise from the seabed. Because most of the world’s seafloor is a muddy plain, seamounts are special deep-sea features that support unique creatures. Seamounts can arise along mid-ocean ridges, as isolated landmarks, or as volcanoes in chains and clusters. Off California, several seamounts were ancient islands that only went under…

Read More