Policy News

Gulf of Mexico Deep-Sea Corals Need Treats Not Tricks This Halloween

In the pitch-black, bone-crushing depths of the Gulf of Mexico is a cast of creatures fit for a Halloween costume party.

Vampire squid, headless chicken monsters, catsharks, sea spiders, and grouper dance with and dine on one another thanks to the deep-sea coral habitat that hosts such rare, vibrant gatherings. Dangerous as they may seem, these deep-sea dwellers have far more to fear from humans. Harmful fishing gear and energy extraction activities can permanently damage ancient corals, which could take decades to recover, if they do at all. However, a new rule being considered by the federal government could safeguard these precious habitats.

In June 2018, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved Coral Amendment 9 to protect 484 square miles of deep-sea coral habitat. Now it is up to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the fishery management council, to approve the final rulemaking. The public has the opportunity to comment at this link until November 25.

Please let Secretary Ross know to save the corals.

Story by Florida Wildlife Federation

Our Partners

Frontiers in Marine Science
ECO Magazine is a marine science publication committed to bringing scientists and professionals the latest ground-breaking research, industry news, and job opportunities from around the world.


8502 SW Kansas Ave
Stuart, FL 34997


Newsletter Signup

The ECO Newsletter is a weekly email featuring the Top 10 stories of the past seven days, providing readers with a convenient way to stay abreast on the latest ocean science and industry news.