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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 Image: An Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) displays its colorful beak and feet. Courtesy of Ray Hennessy. By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute The Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) is a striking bird, at times referred to as the clown of the sea due to its unusual facial appearance. These seabird’s boldly-colored beaks serve…

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By Sebastian Nicholls, Blue Parks Ambassador.   “What we do in the next ten years will profoundly impact the next few thousand.” – Sir David Attenborough   Since 1956, scientists have provided evidence of mounting anthropogenic climate change.[1] The mounting evidence tells a clear and scientifically certain story: human actions are degrading the planet’s living…

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Featured Picture: A Dumbo octopus (Grimpoteuthis sp.) swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.   Today, we release the first in a series of short videos and multi-media stories about a unique place in U.S. oceans — huge underwater mountains, called seamounts. Rising from the deep, dark seafloor…

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Featured Picture: A host of squat lobsters and brittle stars adorn a large pair of Paramuricea corals at a depth of 3,200 feet in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo courtesy of Ocean Exploration Trust and ECOGIG. By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute   Given the depth of the spill, it should not be surprising…

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Featured Picture: A rockfish searches for a place to hide off the coast of Southern California. Photo courtesy of NOAA. By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute   The next time you order fish at a restaurant, pull out your phone for a second and research where it might have come from (Monterey Bay Aquarium’s…

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