Seamounts and the hydrothermal vents sometimes associated with them are highly significant areas of biodiversity and productivity.
Found globally, seamounts are usually formed from volcanic activity and appear in a range of heights and depths and shapes. This habitat is one of the most extensive of all oceanic environments and occupies more area than any single land based habitat.
See the following PDF document for more information on specific aspects of seamount science, including biodiversity, ecosystem services, protection and knowledge gaps.
Project objectives (scientific):
1. Advance the state of knowledge of deep sea marine ecosystems connected to hydrothermal vents and seamounts including their relationship with fish populations.
1.1. Document the link between coastal and oceanic ecosystems of ABNJ towards increasing the involvement of coastal states in high seas governance.
Scientific actions planned during the project:
- Synthesis and analysis of knowledge and data so far.
- Hydrology, biogeochemistry and environmental dynamics surveys.
- Biological sampling on the Walter’s Shoal- zooplankton, seabirds and marine mammals surveys including acoustic survey along the ship's tracks.
- Video camera for the pelagic fauna survey.
- Bathymetric survey of a seamount south of Madagascar and deployment of ADCP moorings.
- Identify sites of conservation interest towards their protection.
- Evaluate the impact of threats linked to activities from fishing and mineral exploration/exploitation on biodiversity.