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Last Updated: Tuesday February 14 2006 14:25 GMT

Marine life treasure trove found

A unique new species of Sargassum
Divers have discovered an underwater mountain with some of the most unusual marine life in the Caribbean.

Huge beds of "seaweed cities" were uncovered along with 150 more species of fish than were thought to be there.

The discovery was made during a two-week dive in the Saba Bank Atoll - a coral reef 250km south-east of Puerto Rico in the Netherlands Antilles.

Researchers are now trying to get the area protected from huge oil tankers which damage the fragile reefs.

A team of 12 scientists decided to explore this area because it was predicted to have high concentrations of marine life.

During the dives the researchers counted a total of 200 species of fish and at least 12 new species of algae.

Now they are appealing for restrictions to be bought in to stop huge tankers mooring close to the reefs and destroying them with their anchors.



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