An atlas of protected hydrothermal vents

Last modified: 
September 10, 2019 - 3:40pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2019
Date published: 10/2019
Authors: Elisabetta Menini, Cindy Van Dover
Journal title: Marine Policy
Volume: 108
Pages: 103654
ISSN: 0308597X

Active hydrothermal vents are valued worldwide because of the importance of their biodiversity and their influence on scientific discovery and insight about life on Earth and elsewhere in the Universe. There exist at least 20 areas and area networks with conservation measures for deep-sea hydrothermal vents, established by 12 countries and three Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, in six oceanic regions. Area-based management tools (ABMT) implemented by these countries illustrate multiple categories and means of protection and management of these rare and vulnerable habitats. Some ABMTs only regulate bottom and deep-trawling fisheries activities, others manage additional activities such as mining, scientific research, and bioprospecting, while still others protect active hydrothermal vents through broad conservation interventions. This atlas summarizes the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” of protected hydrothermal vents worldwide and underscores recognition of the importance of hydrothermal-vent ecosystems by coastal States.

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