Sea fan (Plumarella spp.)Photo Credit: NOAA
Description: There are several species of these corals found in deep reefs, and they all orient themselves in the ocean currents to feed on plankton and other particles that float by them in the water column. Although little is known about these octocorals, a growing body of research suggests that the chemicals sea fans use to deter predators are potentially very useful in pharmaceuticals. Extracts from sea fans are used to soothe inflammation and may have many more beneficial properties.
Figure 1: Relative probability of occurrence of Sea fan (Plumarella spp.) based on computer generated distribution maps. Data source: AquamapsDepth Profile
Figure 2: Approximate depth range of Sea fan (black box). Slope of seafloor is a generalized representation of the Gulf of Mexico shelf and outer continental shelf.