Deep-sea sponge aggregations
Deep-sea sponge aggregations are one of the 5 deep-sea habitats listed by OSPAR as threatened and / or declining.
Sponges are multicellular animals belonging to the phylum Porifera. They are very simple organisms and feed by filtering water through their porous body surface. Currently over 7000 sponge species are known to science, inhabiting a wide range of aquatic environments. Sponges in the deep-sea are the most poorly understood.
Sponges are found throughout the deep-sea environment of the northeast Atlantic. Where currents are strong and with a stable supply of current-borne organic particles, deep-sea sponges can attain high densities of up to 5 individuals per metre square.