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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.

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Featured Image: An orange basket star covers a yellow Picasso sponge at Davidson Seamount, approximately 75 miles off the California coast. Courtesy of NOAA. Seamounts Are Oases of Life Seamounts are found all across the world’s oceans, acting as small oases of life dotting the otherwise sparse deep seafloor. These massive underwater volcanoes provide ecologically…

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At the beginning of July, Marine Conservation Institute invited our supporters to voyage to the deep sea…from the comfort of the living room. Our first-ever webinar was a huge success, and we’re pleased to share footage of it with those of you who didn’t get a chance to register for the live event!  Travel with…

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Featured Pic: Chaunacops coloratus, a rare species of anglerfish discovered in 1891and filmed in the wild for the first time at the Taney Seamounts. Photo courtesy of NOAA. By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute   The Taney Seamounts are a chain of five seamounts spanning a distance of 33 miles across the seafloor off…

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Featured Pic:  Pillow lava, a unique type of basalt rock that forms during underwater volcanic eruptions. Photo courtesy NOAA. By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute   Rodriguez Seamount is a 10–12 million-year-old seamount located approximately 42 miles off the coast of southern California. It towers over a mile above the seafloor, with its tallest…

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Featured Pic: A colorful Ruby Brittle Star (Ophioderma rubicundum) in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo courtesy of NOAA. By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute If you have ever seen a brittle star, you may have assumed that you were looking at the closely related starfish instead. Starfish and brittle stars are both members…

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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…

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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…

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