Deep-water coral off Irish west coast changing at ‘alarming’ rate

Date: March 24, 2018

Source: The Irish Times
Author: Lorna Siggins

Ireland’s deep-water coral reefs may be changing far more rapidly than previously thought, according to new research by University College Cork(UCC) scientists.

A four-year study by UCC’s marine geology research group has described as “alarming” the rate of change detected on an extensive coral reef on the Porcupine Seabight, some 110km (70 miles) off the Kerry coast.

The study focused on the Belgica Mound province on the Irish Continentalmargin which is one of the most prolific places of its type on the planet with more than 50 giant coral mounds and 300 smaller coral reefs.

Videography of the entire mosaic tracked an estimated 20 per cent change rate between 2011 and 2015.

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