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Images: Coral Destruction

Deep-sea corals provide habitats for lush communities of animals. Here, more than five species of coral blanket this boulder on the Yakutat Seamount, as well as many other species including brittle stars, starfish, crabs and molluscs. (DASS05_URI_IFE_IAO_NOAA)

On an expedition in 2005, scientists found that much of the Yakutat Seamount had been extensively damaged by fish trawling. A large dead coral bank at the top of the Yakutat Seamount shows linear scars from trawling. An oreo fish swims by on the left. (DASS05_URI_IFE_IAO_NOAA)

Scar marks caused by trawling gear bear evidence of the cause of the destruction to once abundant deep-sea coral communities on the edge of a summit plateau on the Kukenthal Peak. (DASS05_URI_IFE_IAO_NOAA)

This community of whip corals, sea fans, and bamboo corals on a plateau on the Kukenthal Peak represents one that avoided fish trawling damage that scientists say "effectively denuded" the seamount. (DASS05_URI_IFE_IAO_NOAA)

This bright yellow colony of the deep-water hard coral Enallopsammia rostrata is an isolated survivor of the damage on Yakutat Seamount. (DASS05_URI_IFE_IAO_NOAA)

A Mediterranean roughy hides behind an "amphitheater" sponge. The red lasers measure about 10 centimeters. (DASS05_URI_IFE_IAO_NOAA)

Deep-sea corals, such as this soft coral (Candidella species), provide habitats for fish and other deep-sea creatures such as this brittle star, with its legs held out into the current to capture food. (DASS05_URI_IFE_IAO_NOAA)