Pulley Ridge is a submerged 100 km x 5 km barrier island that was originally discovered in 1950. More than 60 species have been identified. Pulley Ridge has been designated a habitat area of particular concern (HAPC) due to the presence of these coral formations. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has expressed concern over ongoing damage to Pulley Ridge habitat by fishing operations and is considering additional protective measures. The cruises, ROV dives, and benthic analyses were led by CIOERT-HBOI. Up to 14 coral species have been identified in the Long Mound, Robert Cowen, Peter Ortner), CIOERT-HBOI (Dr. Shirley Pomponi, Dr. Dennis Hanisak, John Reed, Dr. Joshua Voss), NOAA Fisheries (Andy David, Stacey Harter, Heather Moe), Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory (Drs. Deep mesophotic coral ecosystems such as Pulley Ridge are of particular interest and may provide clues to the future of coral reefs. Since then, exponential increases in the abundance of this population of lionfish have been observed (AndradiBrown et al., 2016). For images of Pulley Ridge Deep Coral Reef, visit USGS Bottom Photographs of Pulley Ridge and for Geographic Information Systems compilation. Twenty managed fishery species occur at Pulley Ridge including red grouper, and since 2010 the lionfish population has dramatically increased. These include the commercially caught species Epinephelus morio – the red grouper. Coral cover on the main ridge is relatively low (~1 %), but light-dependent communities of corals, sponges, and macroalgae form critical habitats for invertebrate and fish species. What corals and other species characterized the Pulley Ridge biotic community? The shallowest parts of the ridge are in about 60 m of water. These species are typically found only on the deeper slopes of shallow water reefs in the Caribbean and Florida. Pulley Ridge is unique in that it offers both true deep drop fishing in depths from 400 to 1,200 feet as well as shallower fishing in depths ranging from 200 to 300 feet. One thing was certain this site, was of significant scientific interest due to the depth at which corals and algal associations were found. The most common species include sharpnose puffer, cherubfish, reef butterflyfish, yellowtail reeffish, sunshinefish, purple reeffish, squirrelfish, wrasse bass, orangeback bass, chalk bass, greenblotch parrotfish, and the bicolor damselfish. Halley et al. These consist of 102 species of .popover-1 .popover-title{}.popover-1 .popover-content{}Porifera; 27 .popover-2 .popover-title{}.popover-2 .popover-content{}Scleractinia; 19 .popover-3 .popover-title{}.popover-3 .popover-content{}Octocorals; 5 .popover-4 .popover-title{}.popover-4 .popover-content{}Antipatharia; and various mobile taxa such as crabs, snails, sea stars, and sea urchins, as well as 31 species of algae (green, red, and brown seaweeds). Between the two areas it is possible to see in excess of 30 different species landed. Based on photographs collected by the USGS’s SeaBOSS camera system in 2003, Hine et al. Red grouper form large 8-15 m wide and 1-2 m deep pits in the sand and rubble bottom that provide an oasis-like shelter for numerous smaller reef fish. The coral reef community covering Pulley Ridge is the deepest known light-dependent coral reef on the US continental shelf. Located off the southwest coast of Florida, the ridge is a drowned barrier island colonized by several species of hermatypic coral and a fish community comprised of both deep and shallow water species. Our research objectives for Pulley Ridge include: Determine the extent and magnitude of scleractinian corals, other adjacent data and associated fish assemblages. NOAA Welcomes Results of Great Red Snapper Count in the Gulf of Mexico, Infographic Illustrates Role of Fishing Access Site Register, NOAA Fisheries Cancels 2020 Spring/Summer Reef Fish Video Survey, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, Report a Stranded or Injured Marine Animal, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, Geographic Information Systems compilation. We will be day fishing for deep water species like Snowy and yellow edge grouper, Grey and Golden Tilefish … Pulley Ridge deep coral reef Tortugas national Park be enough for most captains ( 25.700N 83.650W ) - Ridge. 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