The Grand Banks of Newfoundland are a group of underwater plateaus southeast of Newfoundland on the North American continental shelf. These areas are relatively shallow, ranging from 80 to 330 feet (24–100 m) in depth. In this area, the cold Labrador Current mixes with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream resulting in upwelling of nutrients to the surface. This phenomenon makes the Grand Banks extremely productive and by some are considered some of the richest fishing grounds in the world. The region has supportetd groundfish, pelagic fish, shellfish, and many different species of seabirds and marine mammals. Due to the sheer abundance of these different fish species, specifically Atlantic cod, the region has been overfished for decades. The need for a no take marine reserve in the Southeast Shoal of the Grand Banks was highlighted by IUCN and MCI in their feature on High Seas Gems, and the Grank Banks are a featured Ecoregion by WWF. The Southeast Shoal of the Grand Banks was declared a Hope Spot by Mission Blue in 2013.
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.