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Corals in Unchartered Danish Waters

Klaus Thymann is leading new mapping project and we have found an abundance of soft corals off the north coast of Jutland in Denmark. The seabed of Jammerbugten in Skagerrak has never been methodically studied, but the new survey of bottom habitat revealed a richness and variety of life.

Starting with anecdotal evidence from local fishermen the team set out on vessels supplied by Han Herred Havbåde and found in very close proximity the bottom types vary from sand, gravel, rocks and hard chalk and vegetation varies depending on depth. At depths from 15 to 25 meters was discovered a wealth of the coral, Dead man’s fingers (scientific name: Alcyonium digitatum). The little research done in this area indicates that the high typological variety is crucial for the area’s rich and diverse biological life.

The area off Thorupstrand is contested fishing ground; the local fishers use low impact equipment and methods, but foreign (mainly Dutch) beam trawlers plough the ocean floor, not only depleting the fish stocks, but also damaging habitats.

The exploration is supported by The Lighthouse Foundation, and staffed with local volunteers on vessels supplied by Han Herred Havbåde.