The Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges are two sequential chains of submarine mountains of volcanic origin located in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean, jointly extending over 2,900 km. Designated as a Hope Spot by Mission Blue, these seafloor ridges are a long chain of tall seamounts and guyots that vary greatly in depth. The ridge area beyond national jurisdiction contains about 110 seamounts with summits at fishable depths down to 2000 m, representing 41% of the seamounts in the south-eastern Pacific. Currently, 226 species of benthic and benthopelagic invertebrates and 171 fish species of 64 genera are known to inhabit the 22 explored seamounts of the ridges and that is likely to be underestimated. The ecosystem supports an array of long-lived species such as deep water sharks, vertically migrant mesopelagic fishes such as swordfish and critically endangered species such as the leatherback turtle. World Wildlife Fund has led conservation initiatives in this area for years, and it has been noted as an ecologically or biologically significant area (EBSA) by the Convention on Biological Diversity, and as an important area by experts consulted by the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) and Census of Marine Life on Seamounts (CENSEAM).
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.