Lord Howe Rise is a deep sea plateau in the Pacific Ocean South West of New Zealand. The area covers 1,500,000 square km and is roughly 750-1,200 meters below the surface. Source: Wikipedia. The Rise was originally formed by the seafloor spreading that also resulted in the creation of the Tasman Sea. Lord Howe Rise contains a chain of seamounts that provide critical habitat to many different species. This biodiversity hub attracts a lot of commercial fishermen, which can deplete resources and is why Mission Blue designated the area (as well as the surrounding Tasman Sea) as one of their Hope Spots.
Deep water bottom trawling threatens these seamount ecosystems, which is why the Lord Howe Rise and Norfolk Ridge are included in Greenpeace International’s “Proposal for a global network of marine reserves covering 40 percent of the world’s oceans.” Currently, the Lord Howe Rise and Norfolk Ridge are both protected by multiple-use Australian Commonwealth marine reserves.