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Underwater Volcanoes In Sicily Home To Thriving Coral Forests

A very rare ecosystem consisting of sponges, wildlife and corals has been found thriving almost one kilometer beneath the aquatic surface close to Sicily. Oceana, a conservation agency, conducted a study where it found active and healthy coral forests nearby the submerged volcanoes just to Sicily’s north. Even though they had been as-yet-unknown to humans, there is a telling effect seen on them due to the impact of pollution caused by humans. The research team found the coral forest thriving with endangered breeds, a kilometer beneath the surface.

The shallow levels provided discovery of beds of red algae supporting both sea animals and plants of the area. Horse mackerel and sea fans were found thriving in numbers close to the water surface. At a moderate depth, there was presence of shark eggs in black coral beds, complemented by yellow tree coral and red coral beds, both being endangered species with regards to Mediterranean Sea. However, nearly towards the bottom, 981 meters below the surface, the best discoveries were made consisting of bamboo corals along with carnivorous sea sponges and sea squirts, previously unheard of in that area, along with a similar discovery of Zoroaster fulgens (skinny sea star) and Goby fish. However, the dive also provided proof of human damage, with ample proof as regards to fishing pollution, as well as discovery of glass, tires and plastic flatware. The study is expected to help scientists in preventing future damage by devising plans to protect this ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the ocean’s greatest polluter, plastic, has been used in Rotterdam to create a park, appropriately named the Recycled Park. The Ministry of Environment in Netherlands reports that more than 1000 cubic meters of plastic waste is dumped in the Meuse River, which ultimately flows into the North Sea. The Recycled Island Foundation team, along with 25 partners, set traps along the river to collect waste, which is then gathered and used for the park. The organization is looking for further expansion, with aims to incorporate several aquatic platforms into the park, while also searching for a permanent location for collecting plastic from the Dutch Harbor.