Aerial survey reveals great diversity and abundance in NE Canyons Marine National Monument

ScienceDaily | 9/14/2018 | Staff
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The researchers, aboard a small, four-seat airplane, saw the equivalent of three animal sightings every minute. They also spotted hundreds of Risso's dolphins, some rarely-seen beaked whales, pods of bottlenose dolphins, and the bizarre-looking giant ocean sunfish, also known as the mola mola. The 605-total seen during the September survey nearly doubles the survey team's previous sighting record of 339 animals in April 2018.

"This was an amazing number of animals to see in such a short period of time and the highest count we've seen so far in our surveys," said Dr. Ester Quintana, head of the survey team. "The marine monument is known as the 'Serengeti of the sea' for a reason."

Northeast - Canyons - Seamounts - Marine - National

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is a critical hotspot of biodiversity on the edge of the continental shelf where the shallow seas off of New England drop sharply into the deep waters of the northwestern Atlantic. On September 16, the monument will celebrate its two year anniversary. In 2016, President Obama designated three underwater canyons that are deeper than the Grand Canyon, and four seamounts as tall as the Rockies, as the first American marine national monument in Atlantic waters. At the moment, is still the most strongly protected...
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