Canada commits $$ towards marine conservation, including identifying and implementing new marine protected areas. The current priorities include sites in the Arctic and glass sponge reefs. In light of the rapidly changing conditions in the Arctic, hopefully the Canadians will take the lead in protecting this vulnerable ecosystem. In terms of glass sponges, the US also recently discovered some exquisite glass sponge sites off the Pacific Northwest (see Reef of glass sponges found off Washington's coast for more information).
VANCOUVER — When Fisheries and Oceans Minister Loyola Hearn met “Mr. Stinky” after a news conference Tuesday at which he announced $42-million in new environmental funding to protect marine ecosystems, he didn't hold his nose or make a face.
Instead Mr. Hearn seemed genuinely impressed with the knee-high stack of delicately interlaced tubes of silica, a type of glass sponge known formally as a Finger Goblet sponge, which has a colourful nickname because of its pungent, rotten seaweed aroma.