Report | December 10, 2020

Seamounts: Giants in danger


Underwater seamounts are often referred to as oases of the ocean, as they are home to rich ecosystems living at various depths on their slopes, benefiting from ocean currents that increase biological productivity and attract other marine life. Used as ‘stepping stones’ for transoceanic dispersion of species, and as reproduction or feeding grounds for migratory species, seamounts also host diverse benthic fauna dominated by corals and sponges. Their recognised importance as biodiversity hotspots makes them a clear priority for deep-sea conservation. Despite their importance, seamounts in Europe remain largely underrepresented in networks of marine protected areas (MPAs). In this document we focus specifically on two EU countries, Spain and Italy, that have a high number of seamounts in their waters, many of which have been well documented by scientists. Oceana hopes to stimulate efforts to protect seamounts in both countries and beyond, to safeguard their valuable role in the marine environment for years to come…(download/view the report to continue reading)

This report is also available in Spanish and Italian.