Evolution of Deepwater Coral Protection in the Southeast U.S.
Track: Ocean and Maritime
Authors: Tina Udouj, Roger Pugliese
Using GIS, we compiled research dives, multibeam images, nautical charts, and benthic data to map known locations of deepwater corals in the Southest U.S. This culmination of spatial data guided the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) to establish five areas, encompassing more than 23,000 square miles, as Coral HAPCs in 2010. As technology improved and more deepwater corals were mapped, SAFMC further expanded the boundaries of three Coral HAPCs in 2016.