Within the reach of divers
It has been announced on June 8th. 2000, that the coral reefs outside Trondheim shall be treated as a national park.
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In the fjord outside Trondheim, coral reefs has been discovered by 3 divers. Earlier on, these were only known to a few marine biologists. The corals are similar to corals recently discovered at great depths in the sea outside Norway. Those corals were discovered at depths of around 300 m (1000 fsw).
Corals in a Norwegian fjord
The corals in Trondheimsfjorden are of different kinds, e.g. Paragorgia Arborea. In Norway they are called "Sea trees" and are normally found at depths of 200 to 1300 meters. In Trondheimsfjorden, the corals can found at depths at around 50 meters.
There is lots of life around the corals in Trondheimsfjorden.
Ratfish (Norwegian: Havmus)
Munida sarsi on Lophelia
At great depth in the Norwegian Sea
In the ocean outside Norway, the corals are found at depths of 200 400 meters and one reef covers the area of around 500 000 square meters. The great reefs outside Norway were first discovered by fishermen in the 18th century and has been a well kept as a secret by fishermen until 1986. When the Norwegian oil company Statoil were surveying the ocean floor using a remote controlled mini submarine, they discovered some extra-ordinary formations.
In 1990, they brought up samples that showed that it was corals. Marine geologist Martin Hovland in Statoil says that he was surprised when they discovered such corals at such depths in the Norwegian Sea. Statoil has in 1992, 1993 and 1997 surveyed the ocean floor by the assistance of marine biologist Pål B. Mortensen. The largest reefs are as tall as 31 meters with a diameter of 100 200 meters. The reefs are at 220 to 300 meters depth and are made by the cold water corral Lophelia pertusa that does not require light to grow.
There are around 200 different species of life in and around the corals. Among the species, there are Bristle Worms, crawfish, sponges and fish. 57 different reefs has been surveyed in a 3 km wide, 200 km long corridor. Radiological surveyence shows that some of the reefs has been alive at the same place for more than 8000 years.
The above is based on an article in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten on January the 3rd. 1998.
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