Porcupine Bank
Porcupine Bank is an area of the Irish shelf approximately 200 kilometres (124.3 mi) west of Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. The relatively raised area of seabed lies between the deep-water Porcupine Seabight
Porcupine Seabight
The Porcupine Seabight is a deep-water basin in the Porcupine Bank in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean. It lies southwest of Ireland and is approximately 180 nautical miles by 100 nautical miles . The feature is shaped roughly like an amphitheatre with the deepest point lying to the southwest...

 and Rockall Trough.

The name comes from the bank's discovery in 1862 by the HMS Porcupine, a British sail and paddlewheel ship used mainly for surveying.
The northern and western slopes of the bank feature species of cold-water corals
Deep water coral
The habitat of deep water corals, also known as cold water corals, extends to deeper, darker parts of the oceans than tropical corals, ranging from near the surface to the abyss, beyond where water temperatures may be as cold as 4°C...


According to Dr. Anthony Grehan, NUI Galway, the virtually untouched site could benefit dwindling fish stocks and possibly aid medical research.

'“These are by far the most pristine, thriving and hence spectacular examples of cold-water coral reefs that I’ve encountered in almost 10 years of study in Irish waters,”' he said.

'“There is also evidence of recent recruitment of corals and many other reef animals in the area suggesting this area is an important source of larvae supply to other areas further along the Porcupine Bank.”'
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