The Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone is a major transversal topographical feature located beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. Reaching depths ranging from 700 meters to 4,500 meters, the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone is a system of two main parallel deep rift valleys. The Fracture Zone is the most prominent interruption of the Mid-Atlantic Reidge between the Azores and Iceland. The area contains two named seamounts, Minea and Hecate. The Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone is one of Mission Blue's Hope Spots.
The Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone is composed of two parallel linear oceanic features that cut across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. The unusual name reflects this duality – “Charlie” named for the ocean weather station located on one, and “Gibbs” for the research vessel used to discover the other. Subtropical and subpolar waters collide here over an abrupt seafloor feature called a fracture zone, creating a high nutrient convergence that sustains an exceptional abundance of zooplankton like krill and copepods—the basis of the marine food web that support countless species. Seamounts surround the fracture zone and rise to within 1,500 meters of the surface. These geological features provide habitat to many migratory species that are integral to ocean health and diversity.
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
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