Porcupine Seabight and Abyssal Plain have been an important area for bio-geochemical flux studies in the past but are also a very productive fisheries and oil-gas exploration area. It is a stable margin with little evidence of seismicity, but does have important deep water habitats. This CELTNET site is used as a case study in the project ESONIM.
Proposed Porcupine regional network in the North East Atlantic Ocean
Recent scientific exploration (FP5 OMARC) along the European ocean margin proved the existence of a deep-water coral ecosystem belt stretching from northern Norway to NW Africa extending into the Mediterranean Sea. Aside these structural aspects, deep-water coral ecosystems attract a yet unknown number of associated species that live permanently or temporarily there. Many of them are of economic importance. This important biological resource, however, is in many places severely exploited and under threat. Understanding the functional role and the dynamics of the key species is of fundamental importance.
One other key issue is: what is the influence of the NADR biogeochemical conditions on the biodiversity, functioning and dynamics of the coral/carbonate mound and other benthic ecosystems thriving under this trophic situation at present and in the past?
Finally, one additional objective addressed by CeltNet is to make long-term systematic observations of marine abiotic and biotic processes and key parameters of the Porcupine region.