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Rare sea creatures in danger: Vancouver Sun

Glass sponges are living fossils that contain vital information about ocean evolution

Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun
Published: Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fluted, whorled, some ornate and calyx-shaped, others intricate as fine porcelain chandeliers, a reef of living fossils known as glass sponges, among the rarest of undersea phenomena and described by scientists as "totally unique," lies unprotected just off Richmond.

Several similar colonies of the fragile creatures have also been found off the east coast of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, West Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast, but the unparalleled formation on the undersea Fraser Ridge is of particular interest to scientists.

All are extremely vulnerable to damage by fishing, resource exploration and the laying of power or communications cables.

Now there\'s also growing international concern about the federal government\'s failure to create permanent marine protected areas around these reefs to ensure preservation of the vital information they contain regarding ocean evolution and changing global environment.

Read the full article at the Vancouver Sun website