Soft-bottom coral gardens

In the Norwegian Sea two species of gorgonian corals (Radicipes gracilis and Isidella lofotensis) can form dense stands on sandy soft bottoms. In Norwegian waters Radicipes had not been observed until MAREANO found dense concentrations of this sea whip in the area known as the Bjørnøya slide. In the warmer waters off southern Iceland the bamboo coral Acanella arbuscula is relatively common, as well as several cup corals of the genus Caryophylla, Flabellum and Stephanocyanthus.

In Norway, the sea fan Radicipes sp. Is only found in the Bjørnøya slide in the northern part of the Eggakanten area (depth of 700-900 m). It forms forests on soft bottoms. Image: MAREANO/IMR.

Field of Acanella arbuscula, along with sea pens, both Kophobelemnon sp. and Pennatula sp. in Háfadjúp canyon south of Iceland. Image: MFRI.