A three-week Canadian expedition recently finished that documented a protected area near Sable Island referred to as the Gully. The Gully is the largest submarine canyon in eastern North America, approximately the size of the Grand Canyon. The submersible expedition can be classified as a success obtaining 3,000 digital images, hours of video footage, and multiple samples. One of the goals of the expedition was to increase knowledge on the distribution of deep-water corals. The team discovered a new species of bubblegum coral, a single-cell organism the size of a grapefruit (Xenophyophore), and a colony of Lophelia (stony coral).
“We really didn’t know what we would find when we went out there because it was all new to us,” Ellen Kenchington, a research scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Halifax, N.S. told CTV’s Canada AM. “Previously we had been working at depths to about 700 metres. With the new technology that we had…we could go two and a half kilometres. So it was fantastic.”
Image Credits and Legends in order of appearance:
Map from the Sable Island Green Horse Society
A ‘Dumbo octopus’ found off the coast of eastern Canada from CTV.ca.
Soft coral (yellow) from Nova Scotia News.
A carnivorous sponge from the genus Chondrocladia. from Nova Scotia News.