The Atlantis Bank is home to a remarkable undersea treasure - not only does it host a huge variety of marine life today, it also contains the fossilized remnants of a 11 million year old beach. Eons ago, a tectonic island popped up out of the sea and was colonized by clams, snails, sea urchins, and other marine creatures before subsiding once again beneath the ocean's surface. Today it lies about 700 meters below sea level, but still contains the pebbles and sand that once glistened in a prehistoric sun. A trove of information for modern geologists studying ultraslow-spreading ridges, the flat-toped bank is covered in sand and solitary corals. It provides habitat for lobsters, crabs, sharks, sea fans, sponges, and other marine life; it's coral gardens host anemones, sea spiders, and octocorals. For these reasons and more, the Bank was named as a Hope Spot by Mission Blue.
Marine Conservation Institute and the Waitt Foundation provide this
interactive tool to help users visualize the locations and coverage of global
marine protected areas (MPA). This atlas provides information on over 8000 MPAs
globally, drawing on datasets from the
World Database on Protected Areas1,
US MPA Center2,
and other country- and regional-level data authorities, as well as research
conducted by the Marine Conservation Institute.
In addition to MPA boundaries and site management information, this dataset
contains information on conservation measures with a particular focus on those
restricting the exploitation of marine life.
Features on this site are designed to allow users to understand (1) where current
protection exists and at what level, and (2), where important areas for future protection
are and any processes underway to establish MPAs. This provides vital information to
countries and their citizens interested in ocean conservation, management and stewardship.
The dataset is constantly being updated and we welcome visitors to the site to provide
feedback and update content by creating a member account on MPAtlas today.