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LIFEBAHAR-Diversity Hotspot
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Recent evidence that the deep sea around Malta is a biodiversity hotspot

Recent ROV surveys of deep-sea areas around the Maltese Islands resulted in the discovery of highly diverse habitats, including extensive rocky areas dominated by living cold water corals and gorgonians at depths of 300–1000 m, a sub-fossil lithistid sponge reef at a depth of ca. 300 m, deep-water caves located at 270–450 m, and vast expanses of soft-bottom habitats, each of which had a rich variety of associated fauna. Most of these habitats are of high conservation interest, highlighting the need for the establishment of offshore marine protected areas in order to protect these very diverse, but highly vulnerable, deep-sea habitats.

For link to publication: Click here 

Evans, J.; Aguilar, R.; Alvarez, H.; Borg, J.A.; Garcia, S.; Knittweis, L. & Schembri, P.J. (2016). Recent evidence that the deep sea around Malta is a biodiversity hotspot. Rapport du Congrès de la Commission Internationale pour l'Exploration Scientifique de la Mer Méditerranée 41: 463.  

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