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Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia

versión On-line ISSN 0718-686X


REYES, Pablo R.. Presence of cold water corals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa & Hydrozoa) in deep waters (306 - 2,250 m) of the Magallanes region, Chile. Anales Instituto Patagonia (Chile) [online]. 2019, vol.47, n.1, pp.7-16. ISSN 0718-686X.

The presence of cold water coral species is reported for the insular and continental shelf and slope of the Magallanes region in Chilean Patagonia, between latitudes 52° 43’ S (Desolation Island) and 57° 05’ S (Drake Passage) and longitudes 65° 48’ W (Nassau Bay) and 75° 46’ W (Desolation Island). Sampling occurred at 107 stations, at depths between 306m and 2,250m, with 97% of samples collected from depths greater than 1,000m. Corals are widely distributed on the studied area, with a confirmed presence at 79% of the stations. The highest coral concentrations were found in the southern part of the study area, around the Diego Ramírez archipelago and the northern sector of the Drake Passage. A significant decrease in abundance was observed north of 55° S. The depth was not related to the abundance of corals in the area, neither exist a relationship between the biomass (kg) of toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides Smitt, 1898) and coral catch (Cnidaria: Anthozoa and Hydrozoa), but a significant spatial overlap was found between the toothfish fishing grounds and the coral fields, which was reflected in a corals removal about 1,065 kg in this study, considering species groups indicating Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VME), such as Alcyonacea, Antipatharia, Scleractinia, Pennatulacea, Anthoathecata and Zoanthidae.

Palabras clave : vulnerable marine ecosystems; corals; cold water; deep-sea water; by-catch; discard; fisheries; Patagonia; toothfish; marine protected areas.

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