The newly discovered sponge from Alaska's Pribilof Canyon will be named Aaptos kanuux. This discovery will assist in Greenpeace's campaign to protect the Bering Sea, one of the richest marine ecosystems on earth.
"We named this sponge 'kanuux,' after the Unungan word for "heart," explained George Pletnikoff, Greenpeace Alaska Oceans Campaigner and a native of the Unungan communities on the Pribilof Islands. "These canyons are the heart of the Bering Sea, pumping out the nutrients that are the lifeblood of the entire ecosystem. As long as these canyons are at risk, so too will be the communities that have depended on these waters for thousands of years."
And as the heart of the Bering Sea, don't they deserve some protection? John Hocevar, senior oceans specialist with Greenpeace USA, thinks so. "Half of the 14 coral species and two-thirds of the 20 species of sponge we documented were previously unrecorded in the Bering Sea," he said. "Setting aside these areas as marine reserves would reap benefits for fishing communities as well as the environment."
Greenpeace is working with NOAA and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) to adopt a more precautionary, ecosystem-based approach in the region.
Whats the black part? Rock?
That's correct - the black bit at the base of the sponge is rock, apparently volcanic.
Kanuux, is a great name, as the Heart of the Bering Sea is still pumping a healthy beat for us that depend on that to sustain our way of life here. We the original inhabitants have for generations depended on whats on our land and in our waters,Industry both foriegn and domestic depend on whats beneath the land and under the oceans floor to thrive. This is sad as all my families take will not ever be noticed, yet the Bering Sea and her adjacent waters are under threat of Oil and gas exploration, So protect the Bering Seas Heart, help save the North Aleutian Basin, call your congressman, write a letter and help us to keep our Bering Sea clean.Remember we all have to work to save this big Village we call earth. Thanks. Norm