Barbara Russo, 718-265-3428;

John Delaney, 718-220-3275;

Media Statement

WCS Praises Deep-Sea Coral Protection Vote

Made by the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council

Today’s vote by the MAFMC marks important protections for deep-sea corals from North Carolina to New York, including in the Hudson Canyon

New York, N.Y. – June 10, 2015 – The following statement was issued by WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper of the Wildlife Conservation Society:

“Today marks an important milestone in the conservation of deep-sea corals in the mid-Atlantic region.  The Wildlife Conservation Society praises the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAFMC) for voting to protect deep-sea corals in 15 submarine canyons from North Carolina to New York, including the Hudson Canyon, located to the southeast and within 100 miles of New York City.

“Coral communities provide food and shelter for many species, but they are very fragile, slow-growing, and subject to severe damage from human use of the ocean. We applaud the MAFMC for proactively safeguarding deep-sea corals by creating discrete coral protection zones in all 15 submarine canyons from fishing gear that comes in contact with the sea floor. We also praise the MAFMC for establishing a broad coral protection zone below 450 meters.

“We are also grateful to the 13,000 WCS supporters who submitted letters, petitions, and drawings asking the Council to consider protecting these local corals. It is through support such as this, along with the work being done by our many partners within this coalition, that deep-sea corals can thrive.”

*Special Note: WCS marine experts are available to discuss local deep-sea corals. Please contact Barbara Russo at 718-265-3428 or, for more information and interviews.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)  MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit:;;  Follow: @thewcs.

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