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Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission

On the occurrence of coral on the Grand Banks.
By Capt. J. W. Collins. June 6, 1884

Relative to the occurrence of corals on the slopes of the outer fishing banks, I beg to say that the place of greatest abundance of the Primnoa reseda more particularly-is on the eastern slope of Banquereau, in from 150 to 200 fathoms or more, and latitude 44 28' N. This " spot," which is several miles in extent - the latitude given marks about its center - is covered to such an extent with a coral growth that it seldom happens that trawl-lines set on it are all recovered.

The fishermen have learned to avoid the place somewhat, and they have given it the name of " The Stone Fence," Stones of considerable size (as large as the fishing lines will lift) are not infrequently pulled up, and it is possible that a proper investigation of this locality might result in securing some rocks containing interesting fossils.

On what is called the "Middle Prong" of Banquereau, in 44 13' north latitude and 58 02' west longitude, in from 250 to 360 fathoms of water, I found considerable many corals in July, 1879, and among others several specimens of the gold-banded coral, the latter being more plentiful than i have seen it elsewhere. This place is small, however, not more than three-fourths of a mile in diameter, and would probably be somewhat difficult to find, unless the weather was fine and clear.

Referring to the last-mentioned locality, I find the following in my journal, under date of July 30, 1879, the vessel then being anchored in 205 fathoms, latitude 44 14' north, longitude 58 03' west:

"Four of our trawls were on the ' Spot,' which bears about southeast by east from the vessel, and is about two-thirds of a mile distant, to its nearest edge. It is about three-fourths of a mile in diameter; the bottom, 'catchy,' having a growth of corals of various kinds, including the following varieties: Gold-band coral (Keratoisis ornata), great tree coral (Paragorgia), bush coral,(Acanella normani), and treecoral (Primnoa Reseda) reseda)."

WASHINGTON, D. C,, June 6, 1884.