Parker Bank

Color bathymetric map of Parker Bank
Parker Bank is a shelf-edge bank. Credit: FGBNMS

Bottom Depth Range: 190-387 feet (58-118 meters)

Distance from Land: 99 miles (159 km)

Area: 7.0 square miles (18.1 sq km)

Parker Bank includes significant mesophotic habitat that is dominated by black corals, octocorals, fish, sponges, algae and invertebrates. A large field of abundant Hypnogorgia/Muricea octocorals was encountered during ROV surveys, as well as high relief ridges providing plenty of habitat for fish and invertebrates.

Parker Bank is named after Frances L. Parker, an oceanographer from Scripps. This is the only significant bank in the region that is named after a woman.

A large white gorgonian with basket stars curled up in its branches
Hypnogorgia/Muricea octocorals are abundant at Parker Bank. Photo: FGBNMS/UNCW-UVP
Two marbled groupers swimming over deep habitat interspersed with small black corals
Marbled Grouper are occasionally seen at Parker Bank. Photo: FGBNMS/UNCW-UVP
Leafy green algae, bushy black corals and skinny white sea whips cover the sea floor along with a few sponges. Small reef fish school just above.
Some of the black corals at Parker Bank are fairly large. Photo: FGBNMS/UNCW-UVP