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Hope Spot - Emperor Seamount Chain: in the darkness of the deep ocean

About Hope Spot - Emperor Seamount Chain: in the darkness of the deep ocean
In the frigid darkness of the deep North Pacific Ocean between the Hawaiian and Aleutian Islands is a chain of silent volcanoes that arose millions of years ago from molten rock, 80 kilometers below the Earth’s surface. Until the 1970s, they harbored large numbers of deepwater corals and fish. They are the Emperor Seamounts. Albatross, whales and tuna visit the nutrient-rich waters above the Emperor Seamounts to feed before continuing their ocean-spanning migrations. Kilometers below them, corals and deep-sea fish dwelled in splendid isolation until they were discovered and plundered in the 1960s and 1970s. Large offshore trawlers invaded these undersea paradises, dragging away their deep-sea corals and fish including alfonsinos and pelagic armorheads. Even four decades later there is little indication of coral recovery. Yet, harbored within the complex terrain of these seamounts are small nooks, crannies and overhangs that were too difficult to trawl. These areas have served as a refuge for the deep-sea life that once blanketed the Emperor volcanoes and may hold the seeds of promise for their recovery, if properly protected.
About Mission Blue
Mission Blue is an initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance to ignite public support for the protection of Hope Spots through the creation of a global network of marine protected areas to safeguard 20% of the ocean by 2020.