The Saya de Malha Bank is the largest submerged bank in the world and is located northeast of Madagascar. The bank consists of two separate structures, the North Bank and the South Bank. The South Bank is nearly three times as large as the Chagos Bank, with a total area of 40,808 square kilometers. The Banks are identified by GOBI as important due to their "geology, high productivity in an area that is at least partly a biological desert, and through their status as the largest seagrass meadow in the open ocean." The area has been identified as biologically significant and not only has been deemed a Hope Spot by Mission Blue, but is the focus of a potential high seas MPA by WWF.
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.