New Sponge Species Found in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
During Nautilus surveys of unexplored regions of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary in 2017, two species of sponges were spotted that stumped our science team. Turns out these two unfamiliar filter feeders are species new to science--Cladorhiza sp. and Farrea sp.!
Specimens of both sponge species were collected in CBNMS and added to a repository at The California Academy of Science, who shared specimens with Dr. Henry Reiswig of the Royal British Columbia Museum, who analyzed and will now describe the new species. It takes a team to identify a new species!
Continuing north along the California coast to Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS), offshore the San Francisco Bay Area, Nautilus will visually survey deep-water habitat that has never been explored and characterize habitat, species, and communities. Recently expanded to protect 1,286 square miles of offshore habitat including continental shelf, Cordell Bank, and Bodega Canyon, as well as smaller canyons along the continental slope, most newly added areas of CBNMS have not been explored.