Nova Scotia

Rare sponge gets habitat protection off N.S.

The federal Fisheries Department says it is taking steps to protect a rare sponge that lives on the Scotian Shelf off Nova Scotia.

Fragile sponge, Vazella Pourtalesi, only exists in two other places in the world

The fragile sponge, called Vazella Pourtalesi, only exists in two other places in the world: the Gulf of Mexico and the Azores. (Canadian Coast Guard/DFO)

The federal Fisheries Department says it is taking steps to protect a rare sponge that lives on the Scotian Shelf off Nova Scotia.

Officials say two eastern sections of the shelf will be closed to bottom-contact fishing.

The move prohibits fishing with gear that contacts the sea floor, such as drags and barrels.

The fragile sponge, called Vazella Pourtalesi, only exists in two other places in the world: the Gulf of Mexico and the Azores.

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