- BC Games
Deep Water Exploration in Howe Sound
This week, a team of scientists, joined by a Juno Award winner, a politician, a journalist and others, ventured beneath the waves of Howe Sound to examine local Glass Sponge Reefs. Until these reefs were discovered in the Hecate Straight in 1987, scientists believed the Reefs to be long extinct.
World-renowned paleobiologist Dr. Manfred Krautter described the discovery of these sponges to be, “like finding a herd of dinosaurs on land.”
Scientists found more of these reefs in Howe Sound in 2001.
According to Sally Leyes, one of the marine biologists on the expedition, glass sponges feed on bacteria, and a single reef can filter the equivalent of one Olympic swimming pool of water every 40 seconds. “That’s about four times faster than any other filter feeder studied to date.”
Glass sponges are vulnerable to damage from activities like bottom fishing and dredging, so far though, there are no measures in place to protect the reefs.