Oceanic Golden Forest

The Sargasso Sea provides habitats for a rich biodiversity, spawning and feeding areas for eels, marlins, turtles and whales and migration pathways in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, between Azores, Florida and Bermuda due to its floating seaweeds. So, conforms unique habitat that should be preserved against human activity because are a seriously threat.

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The Sargasso Sea is an aggregation of golden drift algae for over 4 million square kilometers between the North Atlantic sub-tropical gyre. The coordinates are the subtropical convergence zone or STCZ 20º-30ºN. This “marine rainforest” with water depths up to 4500m, has an important role in marine oxygen production and carbon sequestration. Known since 1492, when Christopher Columbus wrote the first documented encounter nevertheless, in 1854 was written the first scientific publication. Problems that jeopardize this area have an anthropogenic nature. One causal factor is the Sargassum algae harvesting for commercial purpose. Another factor is ship traffic and over-fishing of species as tunas, eels or marlins.

The mainly specie in this habitat is the Sargassum algae. In fact, are two different species, Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans both evolved 40 million years ago from benthonic species. These Sargassum species has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List.

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The Sargassum Angler Fish or Histrio histrio, is an endemic voracious predator with a modified fins to creep around the weed while is waiting for prey. It has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List.

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The Porbeagle Sharks female or Lamna nasus, migrate 2,000 km at depths of 500 m from Canada to the Sargasso Sea for pupping. According to IUCN Red List is considered vulnerable and the population trend is decrease.

Lamna_nasus

It is highy recomended read this divulgative paper, available in the following link:

SargassoReport

 “The Protection and Management of the Sargasso Sea. The golden floating rainforest of the Atlantic Ocean”. 

http://media.wix.com/ugd/6d304e_5eb135579e66408365e3c2e6ef5a6a4b.pdf

The Government of Bermuda began to research opportunities within current mechanisms for High Seas governance and the study and protection of the Sargasso Sea biodiversity.

This study sets out conclusive reasons for the international titration and the creation of the international partnership “The Sargasso Sea Alliance”. This purported global ecological recognition, threats identification and management strategies elaboration, working with existing regional, sectorial and international organizations to provide a protection model for other High Seas regions.

Keep reading on: 

http://www.sargassoalliance.org/

http://ioscproceedings.org/doi/abs/10.7901/2169-3358-1973-1-521

http://www.lighthouse-foundation.org/index.php?id=131&L=2

http://www.gobi.org/Our%20Work/rare-2

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sargassosea.html

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