Authors: Fruh, E., Clarke, M. E., Whitmire, C.

Institution: NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Abstract: A broad-scale characterization of deep-sea coral/sponge habitats and communities was conducted in Bodega Canyon during late summer of 2011 using still photo observations from an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). This project was carried out as a joint effort between staff from NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The goal of this study was to provide information regarding this unexplored canyon system to compare with other well-studied canyons in the region. The area is currently open to trawling; however, fishing effort data suggest that it is an area of lower trawl intensity and may provide a good contrast to those areas with high trawling intensity. Bodega Canyon is outside the existing boundary of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary but is included in the area proposed for Sanctuary expansion. Further information on the importance of the habitats and associated communities could assist in appropriately reviewing these areas for further protection as Essential Fish Habitat Conservation Areas or by an expansion of the National Marine Sanctuary.

This is a deliverable of DSCRTP's 2010-2012 West Coast Fieldwork Initiative.

  • Technical Report
Type: DSCRTP Supported Date: 2011
  • Pacific Council
  • Bodega Canyon