In 2001 the Government prohibited trawling in 17 seamounts distributed throughout the EEZ. Within these areas all trawling is prohibited; there is no provision for midwater trawling. Note that there is some overlap between BPAs and seamount closures with four seamount closures occurring within a BPA. In these cases the seamount closure provisions apply, with a prohibition on all trawling activity.
Rationale for protection
The purpose of the BPA and seamount closures is to protect benthic (seafloor) biodiversity. Between them the areas cover over 30 percent of the EEZ and include:
• 28 percent of underwater topographic features (including seamounts)
• 52 percent of seamounts over 1,000 metres in height
• 88 percent of known active hydrothermal vents.
The area covered by the BPAs and seamount closures constitutes one of the largest protected areas in the world. It is important that the integrity of these areas is maintained and that fishers adhere to all relevant restrictions.
Contacts & Resources
Original data record from World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) via ProtectedPlanet.net [view record on site].